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Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Home Sports They’ll be coming down the Belcan

They’ll be coming down the Belcan

2022 Krem Radio’s 31st New Year’s Day Cycling Classic

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Dec. 29, 2021– It seems like a long, long time ago, although it is just one year that New Year’s Day in Belize has not been sparkling with the excitement of the 90+ miles long Krem New Year’s Cycling Classic, which was cancelled this past January 1, 2021, due to the raging Covid-19 pandemic. But things have been toning down a bit lately, a majority of citizens are vaccinated, Covid-19 protocols are in place and citizens are mostly aware of their importance – masking up, keeping social distance and washing and sanitizing hands frequently – to keep the virus at bay, and allow our lives to slowly climb back to a healthy and happy state.

Though no fans are yet allowed, football competitions have returned to the stadiums for a couple months now, basketball tournaments are beginning to take place, and a few cycling road races have been held over the past few weeks, all with adherence to the Covid-19 protocols; and it all signaled the green light for the return of the most anticipated New Year’s event in Belize – the Krem Cycling Classic, originally going from Corozal Town to Belize City, but later travelling “from the border to the boulevard”, from the Santa Elena border in Corozal to Belize City, finishing at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Mahogany Street, just a couple blocks from the Krem Radio and TV studios.

Beginning on January 1, 1991, the second most prestigious race on the Belizean cycling calendar, second only to the Holy Saturday Cross Country, the Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic has been held every year since, with the exception of this year, 2021, due to Covid-19; so this coming Saturday, January 1, 2022 will mark the 31st running of the Krem Classic.

For the first ten years, it was an all-male race, then for the next 20 years, beginning in 2011, the females and juniors on the same day were riding the 50-mile journey from the Town Hall in Orange Walk Town to the finish line in Belize City.

The reigning male champion is Belizean Oscar Quiroz; and reigning 6-time female champion is Belizean Alicia Thompson.

Elite Male champions of the previous 30 Krem Cycling Classics are (foreigners*): 1991 Michael Lewis; 1992 Francisco Flores; 1993 Derrick Mahler; 1994 Douglas Lamb; 1995 Fred Usher; 1996 Nigel Matus; 1997 Ian Smith; 1998 Francisco Flores; 1999 Ernest Meighan; 2000 Ariel Rosado; 2001 Miguel Perez Laparra*; 2002 Barney Brown; 2003 Douglas Lamb; 2004 Marlon Castillo; 2005 Michael Lewis; 2006 Scottie Weiss*; 2007 Shane Vasquez; 2008 Moe Herman Camacho*; 2009 Marlon Castillo; 2010 Carlos Manuel Hernandez*; 2011 Marco Salas Arias*; 2012 Geovanni Choto; 2013 David Henderson, Jr.; 2014 Byron Pope; 2015 Hector Hugo Rangel*; 2016 Joel Borland; 2017 Ron Vasquez; 2018 Giovanni Lovell; 2019 John Delong*; 2020 Oscar Quiroz. (The Elite Male record is 3:29:55, set by Marlon Castillo in 2009.)

Jyven Gonzalez – Junior Male Winner….rode for Jason’s Cycling Team

And the past 20 Elite Female champions are: 2001 Karen Rosito; 2002 Ann Marie Bennett; 2003 Fiona Humes Gonzalez; 2004 Fiona Humes Gonzalez; 2005 Marinette Flowers; 2006 Alicia Thompson; 2007 Gina Lovell; 2008 Shalini Zabaneh; 2009 Lori Harkey*; 2010 Shalini Zabaneh; 2011 Shalini Zabaneh; 2012 Kaya Cattouse; 2013 Shalini Zabaneh; 2014 Shalini Zabaneh; 2015 Alicia Thompson; 2016 Alicia Thompson; 2017 Alicia Thompson; 2018 Alicia Thompson; 2019 Kaya Cattouse; 2020 Alicia Thompson.

Alicia Thompson – Elite Female Winner…rode for Belize Bank Swoosh
Pic 8231

The field is normally big for the Krem Classic, and we expect that the reigning champions will be there to defend their crown. Oscar Quiroz was in prime form and ready to defend last year when the race as cancelled; he will be challenged by a cast of former champs as well as a crop of young stalwarts. 6-time Female champion Alicia Thompson has nothing more to prove, but she has been active in cycling races recently, so she may be ready to face any challenge. Two-time Female champion Kaya Cattouse did not participate in the last race in 2020 due to a cycling road injury she sustained a couple weeks before the event; but she should be in the lineup on Saturday.

As usual, the prizes are “fat” for the Krem Classic, with handsome cash awards for the top finishers in the Male, Female, and Junior Male categories, as well as for the Masters and Masters Cat 4/5, along with a host of station prizes along the route of the race. (See the prize list and sponsors for the “2022 Krem Radio’s 31st New Year’s Day Cycling Classic” in this Friday’s issue of Amandala.)

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