Shalini Zabaneh wins KREM New Year’s Female Classic

By William Ysaguirre
Defending champion Shalini Zabaneh of the Sagitun team shaved 37 minutes off her previous time, clocking 2:35:17 as she won the female race of the 24th annual KREM New Year’s Day cycling classic from the Orange Walk Town Hall to the finish line at Mahogany Street in Belize City on Wednesday, January 1.
Shalini had outdistanced all the junior male riders as she rode in solo to win the $1,000 first prize, a Smart cellphone from Speednet Communications, a round trip ticket to the U.S.A. from American Airlines and a trophy.
Gabrielle Lovell of the Telemedia team clocked 2:36:39 as she rode in ahead of the first junior male rider to win the $300 second prize and a trophy; while Alicia Thompson of the Belize Bank Swoosh team came out of retirement to win the $200 third prize just behind Lovell.
Keirah Eiley, riding unattached pulled in fourth, and veteran Cross Country winner, Marinette Flowers, also unattached, clocked 2:42:54 as she pulled in fifth.
Young Patricia Chavarria of the BECOL team, finished sixth in 2:42:58.
Keirah Eiley had led at the outset of the race passing the Bowen & Bowen distributorship at the roundabout south of Orange Walk town where she won five cases of Belikin Beer.
Patricia took over the pace at the Tower Hill bridge where she won a $250 prize offered by Cuello’s distillery.
Gabrielle Lovell took over the pace to win the next $170 in prizes offered y Hon. Edmund Castro at the Crooked Tree junction at mile 33.
Eiley was back on the pace to win $200 in prizes offered by Brothers Habet at mile 20 and in Sand Hill at the mile 19 junction with old Northern Highway.
Gabrielle regained the lead to win over $50 in prizes at the Burrell Boom cut-off, but at this point Shalini Zabaneh made her move and won over $650 in prizes as she opened up a commanding lead, sweeping all remaining prizes on her solo ride to the city.

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