Zamir Guerra of the Cayo High Road team set a new record last Sunday, March 24, of 3:34:38, shaving three minutes off the record previously set by Byron Pope in the 72 mile ride from the San Jose Succotz to the finish line at Leslie’s Imports in Belize City to win the 14th annual Junior Cross Country Cycling classic.
Guerra out-sprinted Tarique Flowers, riding unattached and Michael Wagner of the BECOL Uprising team to take home the winner’s garland of roses, a $300 cash prize from the Cycling Association, a trophy, a jersey donated by 2005 Cross Country champion Bill Elliston, a silver chain and cycling pendant from Yvonne Robinson and Xishel and a box of Trail Mix form Smart Speednet.
Flowers took home a $200 prize and a trophy and Wagner claimed the $100 third prize and a trophy.
The rest of the top 10 finishers received medals: Joslyn Chavarria riding unattached clocked 3:46:06 as he out-sprinted Giovanni Lovell of the Telemedia Swoosh team and national junior road champion Oscar Quiros of the Xibalban team for fourth place. Lovell was fifth and Quiros – sixth.
Philip Mencias riding unattached led in a second group eight minute later to take seventh place, while Guerra’s teammate Aiden Juan was eighth and Wagner’s teammate Zahir Figueroa was ninth; Damien Westby riding unattached, completed the top 10.
Twenty riders had begun the race, and Wagner’s teammate, Delon Gentle took the first $50 prize at the cement block factory at mile 69 and a half, and swept the next 10 station prizes to the CESSA cement factory by the Red Creek bridge for a cool $825.
Wagner took over the pace to win a $50 prize passing his family home; while Zamir Guerra won a gift package as he passed the spot near Central Farm where a road accident had claimed the life of another promising junior cyclist, Chris Chuc.
Tarique Flowers won a $150 station prize passing the Georgeville Police Station, and Guerra took over the pace as he swept $250 in the next three station prizes from Georgeville to the turn-off to the Iguana Creek bridge and Spanish Lookout.
Flowers won another $50 prize offered by Hode’s place as he passed the Westar Service Station, and then Guerra took the $150 station prize passing Garbutt’s Gas Station in Roaring Creek, with Wagner close on his wheel to take the $75 second prize.
Flowers resumed the lead to win more than $300 as he swept next three station prizes at the Belmopan intersection of Hummingbird and George Price highways, and at Cheers Restaurant.
Guerra won the next prize at La Democracia while Wagner surged forward to win and a silver chain offered by Yvonne Robinson and Xishel at Rockville. Guerra took over the lead to win a $50 Smart phone card at Hattieville, but Wagner challenged him again for the lead to win the last station prize at mile 8. The last eight miles was a neck and neck sprint for the lead trio.
The next event on the cycling calendar is the 84th annual Holy Saturday Cross Country classic from Belize City to San Ignacio and back on March 30.