Jose Choto of the Belikin Western Spirits team won the elite category while Giovanni Lovell of the Telemedia team won the junior category of the Belmopan Cycling Criterium organized by the Belmopan City Council as part of Belmopan Day activities on Saturday, August 3.
Choto clocked 2:40 for the 20 laps over the 3.4 mile course on the Ring Road from Belmopan Methodist High School to the Curl Thompson Building and back, to claim the first place trophy and a $325 prize, sponsored by the Belmopan City Council and Belmopan Area Representative, Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar.
Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez also presented Jose with the $150 prize for coming first in the Masters’ category for over-35 other riders.
Erwin Middleton of the Capital City Cycling team won the $225 second prize, while Peter Choto of the Belikin Western Spirits team, took the $150 third prize.
Kenroy “Smokes” Gladden, riding unattached, won the $100 fourth prize and Rafael Choto, also of Belikin Western Spirits, took the $50 fifth prize. Henry Moriera was sixth.
Giovanni Lovell was seventh but won a $150 first prize in the junior category, sponsored by the British High Commission.
National Junior Road Champion Oscar Quiros, of the Xibalban team, won the $100 second prize sponsored by DigiCell 4G, and Philip Mencias won the $50 third prize. Joslyn Chavarria of the BECOL Cycling Team rounded out the top 10.
Giovanni Lovell, and the Choto brothers, Peter and Giovanni, had formed a three man breakaway during the fifth lap, with Lovell on the pace, and they soon opened up a lead of more than a minute from the main peloton where Jose and Rafael Choto were sitting in the back of the pack, conserving their energy as the leaders drafted them along.
Lovell set a blistering pace that soon left Giovanni Choto behind, and the two man breakaway opened up the gap to almost a two minute lead over the main peloton. But without his brother, Peter refused to work along with Lovell and so did not take over the pace at any point, preferring to sit on Lovell’s tail and let him do all the work. Eventually fatigue took its toll on Lovell, and the breakaway duo was reeled in by the main peloton by the 16th lap. It was now any man’s race, with whoever had kept some energy reserves having the best chance in the sprint. Peter Choto and Erwin Middleton were now on pace, and with Lovell now entering the final lap., but Jose took it in the last 200 yards of the final sprint.