BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 24, 2021– There has been no “Cross Country” Classic for the past two years due to Covid-19 restrictions, but the sport of cycling got a real boost on Sunday, June 20, with the Cycling Federation of Belize’s (CFB) successful staging of its next most prestigious cycling event, the National Road Championships, which may serve as a qualifying exercise for the upcoming Olympics in Japan.
Some 44 cyclists started, and 24 of them completed the Elite/U23/Masters race which was a 57-mile journey, starting at the Crooked Tree junction on the Philip Goldson Highway, going through the John Smith Road and turning right at its intersection with the George Price Highway, again turning right at the Hattieville roundabout into the Boom Road, another right into the Philip Goldson Highway, and completing the circuit with the finish on the John Smith Road.
Noteworthy in connection with this race was a June 18 National Sports Council (NSC) release on a visit by two-time former Cross Country champion Justin Williams, who is now officially registered as a Belizean cyclist, and thus eligible to be a participant in the Road Championship, which he proceeded to win. Also noteworthy is that Justin’s only challenge in the final sprint to the tape was 2020 Cross Country hopeful Oscar Quiros, who had claimed victory in the 30th Krem New Year’s Classic on January 1, 2020. There was no Cross Country in 2020 or 2021 due to Covid-19, and neither was there any Krem Classic this year 2021. Oscar was the only cyclist to accompany Justin at the tape for the finish.
Top finishers in the Elite/U23/Masters race, as provided by the CFB, include: 1st Place – Justin Williams (L39ION of Los Angeles, 03:45:15); 2nd Oscar Quiros, Jr. (Valvoline Cycling Team, 03:45:15); 3rd Shawn Codd (G-Flow, 1st U23, 03:45:20); 4th Joslyn Chavarria, Jr. (Valvoline Cycling Team, 03:45:25); 5th Shane Jones (G-Flow, 03:46:20); 6th Sherwin Roca (FAL Cycling Team, 03:56:39); 7th Angel Tzib (Westrac Alliance, 03:56:41); 8th Richard Santiago (Unattached, 03:57:41); 9th Eric Trapp (Westrac Alliance, 2nd U23, 03:58:40); 10th Gian Lino (Westrac Alliance, 3rd U23, 03:58:40); 11th Joshua Fuller (501 Valvoline Cycling Team, 03:58:49); 12th Brandon Cattouse (Unattached, 1st Masters, 03:59:01); 13th Kent Gabourel (Team Cycology, 2nd Masters, 03:59:01); 14th Kevin Gentle (Unattached, 04:01:14); 15th Henry Moreira (501 Valvoline Cycling Team, 3rd Masters, 04:01:14); 16th Sydney Belezaire (Unattached, 04:01:18); 17th Kenroy “Smokes” Gladden (Kulture, 04:02:32); 18th Preston Martinez (M&M Engineering, 04:11:43); 19th Giovanni Lovell (G-Flow, 04:12:17); 20th Roque Matus (M&M Engineering, 04:12:41); 21st Dwayne Wade (Team Cycology, 04:12:41); 22nd Vallan Symns (Kulture, 04:12:41); 23rd Byron Pope (Westrac Alliance, 04:12:41); and 24th Philton Butler (Unattached, 04:14:56).
A small field of only 4 female riders, including 2 Elites, 1 Master and 1 Junior rider, started and completed the Female race; and they travelled the same course as the males, except for one lap less on the John Smith Road, resulting in a distance of 50 miles. And it came down to a sprint between perennial rivals, Alicia Thompson and Kaya Cattouse, with Alicia riding away from Kaya at the end, to take the 2021 Female National Road Championship. (Kaya was reportedly involved in a road accident a couple weeks earlier.)
Finishing times were: 1st Place – Alicia Thompson (Belize Bank Swoosh, Masters, 03:07:10); 2nd Kaya Cattouse (C-Ray D Banner Cycling Team, Elite, 03:07:10); 3rd Nicole Gallego (M&M Engineering, Elite, 03:14:27); and 4th Gabrielle Gabourel (C-Ray D Banner Cycling Team, Junior, 03:14:27).
The Juniors & Youth
Some 7 riders, 6 Juniors and 1 Youth, started the Junior race, and 5 of them completed the journey, which followed the same route and distance as the Females, 50 miles. And in a two-man sprint at the finish, it was Derrick Chavarria taking the win over Renan Codd. The only Youth rider (under 15 yrs) in the field, Tyler Tejeda not only was among the finishers, but he placed third overall.
Finishing results were: 1st Place – Derrick Chavarria (501 Valvoline Cycling Team, 02:44:33); 2nd Renan Codd (G-Flow, 02:44:33); 3rd Tyler Tejeda (Guerra’s Bike Shop, 1st Youth, 02:57:59); 4th Daniel Williams (Unattached, 02:58:06); and 5th Elwin Humes (Unattached, 03:03:58).