BELIZE CITY, Wed. Nov. 10, 2021 — The Triple-100, now in its 21st year, is a 3-day International Cycling Masters Race held in Santo Domingo for riders 30-39 in the A Category, 40-49 in the B Category, 50-59 in the C Category, and riders 60 & over in the D Category. The reason it is called the Triple-100 is because it is 100 kilometers of racing every day for 3 days. It is also not a Tour; but a points race, where points are given to the first 10 riders in each category, from 20 points to the 1st place rider to 2 points to the 10th place rider, with a separation of 2 points between each position.
This year, the race was held Nov. 5th to 8th, and 10 Belizeans travelled to the event. Nine of them rode for M&M Engineering and their leader Roque Matus, including Fitzgerald Palas Joseph, who could have ridden the C Category, but was hired to ride for Roque Matus in the harder and younger B Category. The writer, Santino the Chief rode alone in the D Category, which comprised of 15 riders over the tender age of 60.
I must say that in all my cycling travels, this is the highest level I have ever encountered. To say the men I rode against are at a higher level is an understatement. Simply put, most of them are ex-Pro’s who have never left the sport. They came from New York, Puerto Rico and of course, the Dominican Republic.
Both Stage 1 & 2 were mountainous terrain and I was able to place 7th and 5th, respectively, which had me tied in 6th place for the General Classification with 20 points.
The final race on Sunday was held on the famous MIRADOR Circuit where many Cycling Championships are held and which was the only flat-ish stage. My goal at this point was simply to make the Podium of 5. To do so, I had to beat the rider I was tied with and one more rider. As they rang the bell for the final lap of 6.25 miles in this 10 lap race, I tightened my seatbelt and prepared for the sprint, which is my specialty, among the 12 of us remaining in the race.
The winner for a 2nd day in a row was Antonio Lorenzo Faña, an ex-Pro and the rider who has won the most Triple-100’s for a total of 8, and in every single Category. I was able to get 4th in the final stage, which propelled me past 2 riders in the General Classification and secured the 5th and final Podium Position.
Unfortunately, the other Belizeans did not Podium this year; but Roque Matus, in the very hard Category B for riders 40-49, did get 6th in Stage 2 and 12th overall.
And so ended another Cycling adventure in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.