BERMUDIAN LANDING VILLAGE, Belize District, Wed. Aug. 5, 2020– The First Annual Bernice Wade Memorial Cycling Race was held in scenic Bermudian Landing Village on Sunday, 2nd August, 2020. This event, which was organized by Dwayne Wade and supported by the Wade family and friends, was a series of road races on the Lemonal Road circuit. There were races for all categories of riders, which included Elite, A-Plus, A, B, C, Junior, Female and Youths/Kids.
After a brief ceremony, the races commenced at 9:35 a.m. with the start of the Elite race. It was a 3-lap race (46 miles), featuring the best Elite riders in Belize. It was clear from the start that Benny’s Megabytes’ game plan was to dominate the race, and by the time they completed the first lap, the race was led by a breakaway of three of its riders including its leader, Byron Pope, whose late dad, former cyclist Elbert Pope, grew up only a few yards from where the race started. However, it was also clear that Giovanni Lovell, Wasani Castro, Brandon Cattouse, Kyle Gentle, Herman Requeña and the rest of the peloton did not intend to allow Byron and his team to dominate the race; and by the completion of the second lap, the peloton was again intact. The stage was set for a massive sprint! The sprint was triggered by Wasani Castro, and it was furious to the end. After the “dust was settled,” Giovanni Lovell edged out Wasani Castro to win the prestigious race. Brandon Cattouse was third, followed by Kyle Gentle and Herman Requeña. Byron Pope captured two station prizes, and Carlton Robinson and Giovanni Lovell took one each.
Jyven Gonzalez and Henry Li continued their winning streak by finishing first and second, respectively, in the Junior category. Daniel Williams, Jr. was third.
While the race officials, headed by Jerome “Komigeez” Williams, were organizing the start of the combined A-Plus, A, B and Elite Female race, Elden “Stone Jam” Hyde was entertaining a hyped crowd with his usual vibrant music. (Stone Jam was third in the 1982 Cross Country, and he was also there to enter his 10-year-old son in the Youth/Kids race.) From the start of this race, it was evident that the peloton would not allow anyone to break away; it was a constant jostle to stay in the lead. The race organizer, Dwayne Wade was constantly in the lead group, and was determined to win this one in honor of his mom, in whose memory the race was held. At the end, 45 riders barreled down to the finishing line. Barney Brown started the sprint, with Dwayne Wade right on his heels, and Roque Matus was farther behind. It was indeed a showdown between Brown and Wade, and it was all over in what seemed like a flash, as Dwayne Wade pushed his Specialized Venge like a pro across the finishing line to win the race by a couple inches. Fitzgerald “Palas” Joseph was second in the A- Plus category, followed by Quinton Hamilton, Jose Choto and Henry Moreira. Dwayne Wade won three station prizes, and Henry Moreira took the remaining one.
Barney Brown, who was second in the combined race, was first in the A category. He was followed by Roque Matus, Vallan Symns, Edison Usher and Warren Coye. Former superb footballer, Vallan Symns captured all four station prizes in this category.
Kenny Gooding won the B category, followed by Santino “The Chief” Castillo, Ryan Willoughby, Sean Duncan and Deshawn Garbutt, in that order. Three of the four station prizes in the B category were won by Kenny Gooding, and Gilroy Robinson took the remainder.
The 2019 Women Cross Country Champion, Kaya Cattouse continues to dominate women cycling by winning first place in the Female category and capturing both station prizes. Alicia Thompson and Nicole Gallego finished second and third, respectively.
In the C category, Jerome Wade, Sr. was equally determined to win his race in honor of his mother, Mrs. Bernice Wade. He and the usual contenders, including former Force Sergeant Major, Andre Gabb, were battling for the lead throughout the 30-mile race. It was very clear that the score would have to be settled at the finishing line, and it was! Wade pulled up with a cramp in the last stage of the sprint, while Herbert Grinage captured the win. Andre Gabb was second, and Armando Morales finished third. Wade and Gabb captured one station prize each.
The four-mile Youth/Kids race was just as exciting as the other races, with the kids mimicking the senior riders in style and substance. All participants received back-to-school supplies as their prizes.
At the end of the first Bernice Wade Memorial Cycling Race, more than $6,000 in cash prizes, trophies, gift baskets and school supplies were awarded to participants. Additionally, the race organizer also presented school supplies to the schools in the Belize River Valley, and refurbished the Bermudian Landing basketball court.
Dwayne Wade and the Wade family wish to thank all who contributed to make the event successful, and look forward to an even more successful event next year.