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Home Headline Cattouse Connection sweep Krem New Year’s Classic

Cattouse Connection sweep Krem New Year’s Classic

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Jan. 3, 2022– It was a beautiful New Year’s morning on Saturday, January 1, 2022, and it was a great day for fans on the roadside to witness a return to prime time for cycling in Belize, after an almost two-year hiatus by the two most prestigious races in the nation – the Krem New Year’s Classic and the Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country. Bright sunshine, a very brisk southeasterly breeze, and the outdoors beckoned sports fans to soak in some vitamin-D; but where the cyclists were concerned, the strong wind in their faces was indeed a challenge, and many cannot be blamed for completing the grueling journey on the Philip Goldson Highway in the back of a pickup truck. Tired legs riding into a blistering southeaster is no joke, and much credit needs to be given to those that persevered to the finish line.

Because of the long dry spell in cycle races due to Covid-19 restrictions, the physical conditioning of many participants was understandably not ideal, and when combined with the fifteen to twenty miles per hour head wind along the journey, it is not surprising that all three races – the Females, Juniors and Elite – were way off the records. Nevertheless, it was a hugely successful day for the C-Ray Cycling Club, who claimed the Female and the Junior championships, while family member Brandon Cattouse, riding in the Elite Category with the 501 Valvoline Cycling Team, was first to cruise past the finish line in camaraderie with teammate Derrick Chavarria.

The Females and Juniors rode only the 52 miles from the Town Hall in Orange Walk Town, while the big Elite race began at the Santa Elena border for the 96-mile journey through Orange Walk Town, all three races ending in Belize City at the finish line on Central American Boulevard near the Santos Diaz store. The Elites took off just after 9:00 a.m. from the Corozal border, while the Juniors started at 9:30 a.m. followed by the Females at 9:35 a.m. from the Orange Walk Town Hall.

Only three females started (defending 6-time champion Alicia Thompson sat out this one), and it quickly became a case of the C-Ray duo of Elite Female, Kaya Cattouse and Junior Female, Gabrielle Gabourel essentially “double-benking” the sole Female rider for the Chavarria/Western Spirits Cycling Team, U23 Female Paulita Chavarria, who must be given credit for completing the journey despite gaining no station prizes. There was no finishing sprint as Kaya and Gabrielle coasted down the Belcan Bridge towards the finish line, Kaya holding back as Gabrielle crossed the line to become the youngest ever Female Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic champion at sixteen years of age.

Female Category results: 1st Place – Gabrielle Gabourel (C-Ray Cycling Team, 03:04:58); 2nd – Kaya Cattouse (C-Ray Cycling Team, 03:04:58); and 3rd – Paulita Chavarria (Chavarria/ Western Spirits Cycling Team, 03:38:59). [Record Holder: Alicia Thompson, 02:43:30, Mon. Jan. 1, 2018]

A small field of nine juniors started, and only six of them completed the arduous journey to the boulevard in Belize City. What was most interesting about this race, is that the duo of Renan Codd (G-Flow Cycling Team) and Goran Gabourel (C-Ray Cycling Team) dominated all the way, with Codd taking all the station prizes up to the Smart Headquarters in Belize City, after which Gabourel asserted himself, grabbing the station prize at the 1st Roundabout, and taking the other two also at the Overpass and Belcan Bridge, then easily overpowering Codd in his ride to the finish for the Junior Krem Classic championship.

Junior Category results: 1st Place – Goran Gabourel (C-Ray Cycling, 03:02:18); 2nd – Renan Codd (G-Flow Cycling, 03:02:18); 3rd – Tyler Tejeda (Chavarria/Western Spirits, 03:10:32); 4th – Richard Rosado (Chavarria/Western Spirits, 03:10:34); 5th – Elwin Humes (Unattached, 03:10:37); and 6th – Jamar Murry (G-Flow, 03:21:37). [Record Holder: Daniel Choto, 02:18:55, Fri. Jan. 1, 2010]

Some 51 Elite cyclists lined up and took off from the Santa Elena border with intention to battle the blistering southeaster for 96 miles, all the way through Orange Walk Town and onwards to the finish line on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. Only 34 of those riders managed to complete the journey; and in the stamina testing last ten miles into the headwind towards Belize City, perennial powerhouse now Masters, Brandon Cattouse left the peloton in his wake as he joined his 501 Valvoline Cycling teammate Derrick Chavarria, who had separated himself from the pack after taking the station prize at the Airport Junction and was on a solo journey to Belize City. Brandon had already done it all for his team in this race, grabbing 3 of the 6 big $1,000.00 station prizes – at Shell One Stop in Orange Walk Town, at the Digi Tower at Mile 34, and at the National Concrete Products Compound at Mile 11, while also picking up two $500.00 prizes – in Corozal Town and at Eagle JEM Estate around Mile 15. Up to that point in the race, Brandon’s young teammate, U23 Derrick Chavarria had not contested any station prizes, while other cyclists, including Jyven Gonzalez (G-Flow), Eric Trapp (Westrac Cycling), Angel Tzib (Westrac), and Sherwin Roca (FAL Cycling) all had their turn battling for and claiming station prizes along the journey. So, after Brandon had “wasted” the pack in his Mile 11 grasp of that $1,000.00 prize, it was a weakened peloton that saw Derrick Chavarria break away at the Airport Junction, and nobody could catch him; none except his “Big Dog” teammate, the now veteran Masters 35+, Brandon Cattouse, who up to that point had never won one of the major Classics in Belize. But in a demonstration of true team spirit and respect for his team general, young Derrick Chavarria, who has a great future in the sport, made the magnanimous move of stalling as teammate Brandon Cattouse crossed the finish line for his first Krem New Year’s Classic championship. There was no sprint, but cycling aficionados understood the meaning of the moment, when the pair coasted down the Belcan with hands joined in the air, as they rode the last couple hundred meters to the finish line.

Elite Category results: Champion – Brandon Cattouse (501 Valvoline Cycling Team, 04:19:44); 2nd – Derrick Chavarria (501 Valvoline, 04:19:44); 3rd – Jyven Gonzalez (G-Flow, 04:19:54); 4th Sherwin Roca (FAL Cycling Team, 04:21:29); 5th Eric Trapp (Westrac Alliance, 04:22:10); 6th Angel Tzib (Westrac Alliance, 04:24:16); 7th Giovanni Lovell (G-Flow, 04:26:11); 8th Joshua Fuller (501 Valvoline, same time – s.t.); 9th Oscar Quiros, Jr. (501 Valvoline, s.t.); 10th Wasani Castro (Westrac Alliance, s.t.); 11th Byron Pope (Westrac Alliance, s.t.); 12th Gregory Lovell (Team Cycology, s.t.); 13th Roque Matus (M&M Engineering, s.t.); 14th Jafari Castro (Westrac Alliance, s.t.); 15th Joslyn Chavarria, Jr. (501 Valvoline, s.t.); 16th Dwight Lopez (Team Cycology, s.t.); 17th Sherwin Requeña (Unattached, s.t.); 18th Shawn Codd (G-Flow, s.t.); 19th Vallan Symns (Kulture, s.t.); 20th Kevin Gentle (Team Cycology, s.t.); 21st Gian Lino (G-Flow, s.t.); 22nd Renan Matus (M&M Engineering, s.t.); 23rd Kenroy Gladden (Kulture, 04:26:18); 24th Richard Santiago (FAL Cycling, s.t.); 25th Sherwin Budna (Team Cycology, 04:26:28); 26th Carroll Azueta (M&M Engineering, 04:26:41); 27th Ryan Willoughby (M&M Engineering, 04:26:47); 28th George Abraham, Jr. (Unattached, 04:27:14); 29th Tariq Cano (04:34:02); 30th Sydney Belezaire (s.t.); 31st Darien Anderson (Unattached, s.t.); 32nd Michael Wagner, Sr. (M&M Engineering, 05:17:59); 33rd Willie Chan (M&M Engineering, 05:19:15); and 34th Dorsey Leslie (Unattached, 06:45:43). [Record Holder: Marlon Castillo, 03:29:55, Thurs. Jan. 1, 2009]

Finishing prizes were also awarded for the Masters and Masters Cat 4/5 categories as follows:

Masters: 1st Place – Brandon Cattouse (501 Valvoline); 2nd Gregory Lovell (Team Cycology); 3rd Roque Matus (M&M Engineering).

Masters Cat 4/5: 1st Place – Roque Matus (M&M Eng.); 2nd Vallan Symns (Kulture); 3rd Ryan Willoughby (M&M Eng.).

(See full prize lists – finishing and station prizes – in Amandala ad pages.)

Congratulations to all the winners, and all who completed the tough journey! Happy New Year to all!!

Masters 4&5 Winners

Master 35+ Winners

Junior Males Winners

Females Winners

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