BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 5, 2018– This is a POINT SERIES of 4 Races which started last week Sunday, January 28. Unfortunately, I had a race scheduled last week in Valladolid, Mexico, so missed Race #1; but my teammate and buddy Warren Coye came in 2nd last week, so the team’s job was to defend him. Thing is, we have one of the smallest teams out there, so the 5 of us had to ride smart.
As they blew the whistle, there was a vicious attack, and Team Santino’s best pacer, Daniel Cano, who is Weekend Warriors (WW) Time Trial Champion, got on the front and chased it down. After he caught the front runners, there was another attack; and after he caught that one, there was another.
Seven miles into the race, I realized this would have put a strain on Daniel and Beto, our best two pacers; so I stepped out of my comfort zone and attacked hoping that if I succeeded, my team would get the FREE RIDE. After all, what did I have to lose? I did not ride the first race, and had ZERO points. The peloton, recognizing this and knowing I am not a pacer, and also knowing we were 35 miles from the finish, allowed me to go SOLO. When I saw my gap increase by some 500 meters, and out there by my lonesome self, all I said was… “SH_T.”
Two miles later, however, I was caught by Charles Garay; and a mile after that, by Ryan Willoughby. Hooray! We decided to work together and share the three Sprinting Points of 3, 2 and 1 points on the road. This allowed us to save energy, and our gap increased by as much as 1 minute and 28 seconds. Then it started coming down.
At Hattieville, with 12 miles to the finish, it was down to 45 seconds. After the 3rd and last Sprinting Preem, with 7 miles to go, it was down to 30 seconds; and that is when the strongest of the 3 of us, Charles Garay decided to break up the love fest and attacked us. Upon catching him, Ryan Willoughby, not to be outdone, returned the favor with his own vicious attack. I convinced them that it was better to remain united, or we would be caught.
With 2 miles to the finish, the peloton was coming hard and fast, and all we had was a 15-second advantage. I knew that the sprinters in the peloton were licking their chops and utilizing their domestiques to run us down, so I saved the little energy this 62-year old body had left. With 1 and 1/2 miles to the finish line, we were caught, and all one again. It was now “money time,” and I tucked in and prepared for the onslaught. At the finish, it was as follows:
1st – Ras Mark Gentle – Returning to the top of the podium after a prolonged absence.
2nd – Preston “Motte” Martinez, who was in first place, maintained & increased his lead.
3rd – Kirk Sutherland, who is now in 2nd place in this Series.
4th – Warren Coye, my teammate, who dropped from 2nd to 3rd.
5th – Santino the Chief, who, after a hard day’s work, secured 1st in the “B” Category.
6th – Alvan Gillett; 7th – Roque Matus; 8th – Dean Belisle; 9th – Hector Tzuleta (2nd “B” rider); and 10th – Sean Duncan (3rd “B” rider).
We now look forward to Race #3 on February 18, which is a 12-mile Individual Time Trial; not my forte, but that of Warren’s, so we anxiously await same.
FYI – This coming weekend is the Digicell ELITE Valentine’s Tour, which starts on Friday morning at 6:00 a.m. with a 50-mile Road Race; so there will be NO Chief’s Thursday or Saturday Race this week; but see you all the following week, mi amigos.