There was weeping and knashing of teeth just after 12:00 noon on Holy Saturday when Christopher Harkey USAmerican of the Smiling Cycling Team crossed the finish line at the Marian Jones Stadium. Harkey was followed closely by Juan Urtula of the Guatemala Team and Enrique Uribe (Mexican) of Team Santino. Belizeans wept as a foreign riders swept the 75th. Cross Country Classic.
The race got underway at exactly 6:00am in front of Georgey August Meat shop on the Northern Highway and three miles into the race there was a breakaway consisting of one rider each from Team Santino, Team Smiling, Team Guatemala and Team Cayo. This was exactly what was expected except that Shane Vasquez (Team cayo's protected rider) was in the breakaway. This was a text book race and the four major teams slowed the pace allowing the breakaway to open a gap of over a minute in the first 8 miles of the race. Then tragedy struck when at mile 13 there was a nasty spill in the breakaway group which took down Douglas Lamb (Santino's) and Shane Vasquez (Team Cayo). Shane managed to get up and rejoin the breakaway but Lamb's injuries kept him on the ground until the main peloton arrived and he had to join that group. That spill was the deciding factor in the race. Santino's Team had no one in the breakaway and had to decide whether they would reshuffle the deck by chasing and catching the breakaway group or sit tight hoping that the breakaway would burn itself out. Team Santino's decided not to chase and to save its riders energy. A strategic decision which would later prove to be the team's undoing.
The breakaway held and it was Shane Vasquez who was the first to round Coronation Park in San Ignacio then tragedy struck again - Shane Vasquez fell for the second time and this time broke his bike. Vasquez commandeered a mountain bike from a spectator and continued riding until his service crew provided him with a teammate's bike. The Guatemalan rider ( Guatemala's Road Champion ) looked strong, the Smiling rider was doing his best to hang on, an injured Shane Vasquez did not look too well but was in there and Team Santino's had no representation in the lead group. Clearly at a strategic disadvantage Team Santino's had to make another tactical decision. The other teams knew that Santino's would have to chase and would give all other teams a free ride as they bridged the gap. All the Santino's Riders were drafted to mount the chase. The Santino's riders rotated at 30-32 miles per hour and were able to reel in the breakaway group around Hattieville. The Santino's Team was now spent and the other teams knew it and moved in for the kill. The Guatemalan team launched some vicious attacks against the Santino's Team while the other teams took the free rides. Upon entering Belize City The Guatemalans attacked again and only Enrique Uribe (Mexican) of Santino's and Christopher Harkey (USAmerican) of Smiling were able to hold on. This trio entered the Marian Jones Stadium together and in the final sprint it was Christopher Harkey (Smiling) first, Juan Urtula (Team Guatemala) second and Enrique Uribe (Team Santino) third. They were followed by Belizeans Quinton Hamilton fourth and Ernest Meighan fifth. The Belize national Road champion Ariel Rosado finished a disappointing 16th.