By William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter
Keion Robateau of BECOL Uprising cycling team won the 15th annual Junior Cross Country cycling classic organized by the Cycling Federation of Belize on the George Price Highway from San Jose Succotz to the finish line at Leslie’s Imports in Belize City on Sunday, March 30.
Robateau clocked in at 3:41:27 on his 70 mile ride, seven minutes slower than the record set by Zamir Guerra of the Cayo High Road team last year. But it was good enough to win the $800 first prize, as well as a four–year tertiary scholarship from the Ministry of Education, a Samsung netbook from DigiCell 4 G and the champion’s trophy.
Robateau’s teammate, Delon Gentle won the sprint for second place over Guerra, to win the $500 second prize. Zamir Guerra had to be content with the $300 third prize. Mencias of the Mando’s Cycling Team pulled in fourth to win a medal, and Tarique Flowers, winner of the Belmopan Classic two weeks ago, took fifth place to win a medal.
Flowers’ teammate Delawn Abraham was sixth, and Robateau’s teammate, Zahir Figueroa, was seventh.
Guerra’s teammate Devin Azueta was eighth in 4:17:41, also winning the $300 first prize among the youth riders and a Samsung netbook from DigiCell 4 G. Darien Anderson of the SMART team was ninth in 4:20:22 and won the $200 second prize for the youth category. Dennis Arnold riding unattached clocked 4:21:33 to win the $100 third prize among the youths. Michael Grajalez of Mando’s Cycling won the $75 fourth prize in 4:21:56 while Patrick Williams, riding unattached, took home the $50 fifth prize in the youth category.
Steven Cabral, riding unattached, finished 13th overall in 4:22:20, the eighth junior, while Kyle Saunders, riding unattached, was 14th in the same time.
Azueta had taken the pace as the race rolled past mile 69 to win the first $50 station prize, with Zahir Figueroa second. Azueta also won the $100 prize at the Dan Habet’s residence with Robateau second. Then Delon Gentle took the $100 station prize passing Joseph’s Freight, with Guerra trailing second. Gentle also won the $150 prize passing the UNO gas station and another $100 prize passing the home of the Belize Bank manager in front of the San Ignacio Hotel.
Robateau took the next $100 prize in front of Anthony’s Store in Santa Elena while Gentle won the $50 prize passing the Loma Luz hospital, and another prize, a package of Running W Meats passing the Running W plant.
Tarique Flowers took over the pace to win a gift package at Central Farm, then Robateau surged ahead to win the $150 prize passing the Cayo Steel Works in Georgeville. He would win another $100 prize passing Pine Lumber in Georgeville.
By this time a five man breakaway group had escaped the main peloton, including Robateau, Delon Gentle, Zahir Figueroa, Zamir Guerra and Tarique Flowers. They went sharing the prizes as the race rolled on towards the city, with Gentle taking the $100 prize at mile 59 and Flowers winning the $150 prize at the Garbutt’s UNO Service Station in Roaring Creek
Gentle surged ahead to win the $100 prize at the Belmopan junction with the Hummingbird Highway, and another $100 prize at the St. Matthew’s Bridge. Guerra moved up to win the next $100 prize passing la Democracia.
Abraham and Mencias managed to bridge the gap, and the breakaway now had a new configuration with seven riders, but Robateau managed to extricate himself from this lead group by mile 10 to win a $50 prize.
He swept the two remaining prizes at mile 9 and the Burdon Canal Bridge on his solo ride to the finish.
CFB President Dion Leslie presented the prizes and trophies to the winners at the end of the race.