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Pedal by Pedal report – Weekend Warriors New Year’s Race of Sunday, January 5

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Jan. 8, 2020– This past Sunday, January 5, just 4 days after the Krem Classic dust had settled, the Weekend Warriors had their New Year’s Cycling Race. In fact, many of the Weekend Warriors had taken part in the Krem Classic, including yours truly; so it was déjà vu for some of us, except, of course, in a much easier setting.

The “A” Category started at the Caribbean Tire Roundabout in Orange Walk; while the “B” Category started in Carmelita, O.W.; and the “C” Category, at Mile 40. The 3 separate races rode to Belize City, turning at the NAPA Roundabout, and finished at M&M Engineering, directly across from the Buca Shell on the Northern Highway.

In the “A” Category, a 3-man break made good their escape almost from the start of the race, never to be seen again. They ended surviving by a mere 16 seconds. At the finish, all bets were on Vallan Symns to win, as he has been one of the most dominant “A” Riders in the past 6 months; but not today, as Eddie Usher of Digicell took the big “W”, with Preston Martinez of M&M Engineering taking 2nd, and Vallan Symns of Kulture taking the final spot in this 3-man break. Some 16 seconds later, a group of about 20 riders then came in for the BIG SPRINT, with Barney Brown taking 4th and proving he is still the man to beat in a bunch sprint. Dwight Lopez was 5th, and Roque Matus rounded out the 6th and final podium position.

“B” Category winners, (l to r) Nigel Matus 4th, Ryan Willoughby 2nd, Chief Santino 1st, Phillip Burns 3rd and Alvin Card 5th

In the “B” Category, the attacks were furious from the start, as the strong men of the peloton were trying to dislodge the sprinters; but in so doing, some of them dislodged themselves. With a mile to the sprint, only 12 riders remained. As we hit the NAPA Roundabout with half mile to the finish, all hell broke loose, as everyone jostled for the best position. It was a headwind sprint, and many of the sprinters may have miscalculated this in their equation. With some 300 meters to the finish, Philip Burns, who, in my estimation, is the strongest rider of this group, made his move, and I decided this was the wheel of the day. As we hit Publics, which is 100 meters from the tape, I made my move on the far right. This turned out to be the winning move. I even had time to pull out my 2 Colt 45’s before passing the line. Ryan Willoughby of M&M Engineering also passed Philip right before the line for 2nd, while Philip Burns, who is presently riding unattached, took 3rd. Rounding out the top 5 were Nigel Matus of M&M, and Alvin Card of Furnished Apts.

“C” Category winners, (l to r) Manuel Esquilliano 6th, Irfaan Numan 4th, Jerome Wade 2nd, Austin Castro 1st, Andre Gabb 3rd and Herwald Humes 5th

Meanwhile in the “C” Category, the top 6 were Austin Castro of Big Blade, Jerome Wade of M&M, Andre Gabb of Big Blade, Irfaan Nu’man and Herwald Humes of Digicell, and Manuel Esquilliano of Truckers.

And thus ended the first race of the season for the Weekend Warriors Club.

The next race on our Calendar is the M&M Engineering Tour for both Elites and Weekend Warriors, January 17th to 19th.

Feature photo: “A” Category winners, (l to r) Dwight Lopez 5th, Barney Brown 4th, Preston Martinez 2nd, Eddie Usher 1st, Vallan Symns 3rd and Roque Matus 6th

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