General — 17 April 2009
Mexicans dominate 81st Cross  Country
According to a Belize Cycling Association release, some 120 cyclists started the 81st Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic and only 47 actually finished the race, which was won by unattached Mexican rider Carlos Lopez, who, like other foreigners before him, was quite unknown to most Belizeans at the start of Holy Saturday; but today he has become a part of what is our cycling lore in Belize, another entry in a long and treasured list of champions of our country’s greatest one day sporting event.
Some 19 cycling teams took part in the race – 15 Belizean teams (some of which included up to 2 foreign riders), 3 Mexican teams, and 1 Guatemalan team. In addition to their 3 teams comprising a total of 12 Mexican and 1 Canadian cyclist, there were also 3 more Mexican cyclists registered as unattached, and one of these turned out to be the champion. 5 Belizean cyclists also rode as unattached, as did 1 cyclist from the USA. Countries represented in this year’s Cross Country included Mexico, Guatemala, U.S.A., Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba and Belize.
Cross Country is also a race that brings new stars to center stage, and after last Saturday’s race, suddenly there are some Belizean cyclists that have proven they must be counted along with the other big names, by virtue of their outstanding performance in the 81st Cross Country. From now on, when anybody asks, who is Elston Coleman, say he is the Under 23 cyclist that placed 7th in the last Country. Geovanni Choto and Darnell Barrow, likewise, are Under 23 cyclists that are no more to be overlooked, having finished 8th and 14th, respectively.    
The high drop out rate probably had something to do with the blistering pace of the first leg of the race, which broke records to Roaring Creek and to San Ignacio. The Roaring Creek journey of 47.4 miles was done in 1:40:03 (1 hour, 40 minutes and 3 seconds) for an average speed of 28.4 m.p.h. (miles per hour). San Ignacio, 65.7 miles, was completed in 2:31:29, another record, for an average speed of 26.0 m.p.h. Things slowed considerably on the return, finishing the 142.4 miles in 6:01:42, for a 23.6 m.p.h. clip. The complete race record, set by American Ryan Bauman in 2008 remains in tack at 5:40:12. 
Following is the BCA’s list of finishers in this year’s race:
1st Carlos Lopez (MEX/Elite; Unattached; 6:01:42); 2nd Carlos Manuel Hernandez (MEX/Masters; Mexican National Team; 6:02:42); 3rd Frank Trevieso (USA/Elite; Santino’s; 6:04:25); 4th Jose Choto (NCA/Masters; Team Zamir; 6:06:07); 5th Giovanni Leslie (BIZ/Elite; Santino’s; 6:06:07); 6th Manuel Rodas (GUA/Elite; Guatemala Selection; 6:08:28); 7th Elston Coleman (BIZ/Under 23; Santino’s); 8th Geovanni Choto (BIZ/Under 23; Sugar City Stars; 6:09:08); 9th Shane Vasquez (BIZ/Masters; Western Spirit; 6:09:08); 10th Grant Potter (USA/Elite; Santino’s; 6:09:08); 11th          Gabriel Epstein (CAN/Elite; Red Bull; 6:09:08); 12th Quinton Hamilton (BIZ/Masters; Sugar City Stars; 6:09:36); 13th Nieves Carrasco-Montoya (CRC/Elite; Vega Crystal; 6:09:50); 14th Darnell Barrow (BIZ/Under 23; Santino’s; 6:10:09); 15th Leroy Cassasola (BIZ/Masters; Santino’s; 6:10:09); 16th William Elliston (USA/Elite; Team Zamir;    
6:10:18); 17th Edgar Hoch (GUA/Elite; Guatemala Selection; 6:10:18); 18th Jesus Hernandez (MEX/Elite; Quintana Roo; 6:10:18); 19th Brian Barkhouse (CAN/Masters; Quintana Roo; 6:10:18); 20th Anthony Taylor (USA/Masters; Unattached; 6:10:18); 21st Yosvany Falcon (CUB/Elite; Red Bull; 6:10:18); 22nd
Gregory Lovell (BIZ/Elite; Santino’s; 6:10:40); 23rd Domingo Lewis (BIZ/Under 23; Santino’s; 6:11:14); 24th Mateo Cruz (BIZ/Masters; Sugar City Stars; 6:11:20); 25th Chris Harkey (USA/Masters; Guinness; 6:11:20); 26th   Juan Pablo Espinosa (CRC/Masters; Benny’s Megabytes; 6:11:20); 27th Carlos Hernandez (GUA/Elite; Team Zamir; 6:11:20); 28th Rafael Escarcega (MEX/Under 23; Mexican National Team; 6:11:20); 29th Marco Antonio Rios (MEX/Elite; Mexican National Team; 6:11:20); 30th Edgardo Lugo (MEX/Masters; Mexican National Team; 6:14:24); 31st Roger Troyer (BIZ/Elite; Team Zamir; 6:16:00); 32nd Marco-Salas Arias (CRC/Masters; Vega Crystal; 6:20:33); 33rd Luis Avila Balam (MEX/Elite; Depredadores Chetumal; 6:20:33); 34th Christian McNish (PAN/Elite; Benny’s Megabytes; 6:23:53); 35th Angel Tzib (BIZ/Under 23; Pacz Tours; 6:26:02); 36th Darwin Torres-Irola (MEX/Masters; Unattached; 6:26:07); 37th Bertram Brown (BIZ/Under 23; Santino’s; 6:26:19); 38th Elbert Pope (BIZ/Masters; Pediatric Center; 6:26:19); 39th Peter Choto (BIZ/Under 23; Team Zamir;     6:26:19); 40th Ernest Meighan (BIZ/Masters; Red Bull; 6:26:19); 41st Dwight Lopez (BIZ/Masters;    Bel-Cal; 6:26:26); 42nd Glenn O’Brien (BIZ/Masters; Santino’s; 6:26:46); 43rd Adam Little (USA/Elite; Guinness; 6:27:10); 44th Claudio Kadir Quiros (BIZ/Under 23; Team Typhoon; 6:31:07); 45th Edgar Nissan Arana (BIZ/Under 23; Team Typhoon; 6:31:07); 46th Leslie Sanchez (BIZ/Elite; Team Zamir; 6:32:00); 47th Kenneth Butler (BIZ/Masters; Vega Crystal; 6:32:32)

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