The long weekend was filled with sporting events - and we were there for all the major ones. We start off with cycling: The 32nd Belmopan Cycling Classic was held on Sunday and 7News was there from the start when 60 riders lined up, to the very end when only a few made it. Daniel Ortiz has an in-depth report from the road:
Daniel Ortiz Reporting
At 8 a.m. sharp, 60 male riders comprising elite, under 23, and masters all gathered at the Smart corporate office to sign up for the 32ND Belmopan Classic.
They then lined up and waited until the officials gave the signal, everyone poised and ready with anticipation.
The defending champion, Ron Vasquez, took his place at the lead, and a few minutes later, they all moved off from the starting line.
After everyone got to Western Avenue, race began Tour De France Style, with everyone rolling off leaning over their handles.
Henry Moreira, peddled alone to win the first station prize, with the main peloton on his tail 15 seconds later.
Jiovannie "Froggie" Leslie, was the first to make a move and launched his attack from around mile 12, a lone ranger amongst elite riders with fresh legs.
Somewhere around mile 17, Froggie is still in the lead, but now, he's being pursued by 7 prime-time riders, who've broken away from the main peloton: Byron Pope, Ernest Meighan, Marlon Castillo, Brandon Cattouse, Scottie Weisse, Peter Choto, and Shane Vasquez.
At Rockville, there is no more Froggie, and Ernest Meighan moves on to win the station prize, with those 6 other riders very close behind him.
At Mile 25, the next station prize was taken by Scottie Weisse, the man who was driving the main pack and constantly upping the pace.
Around mile 33, the lead group is ahead of the main pack by some 3 minutes.
Headed toward mile 37, the lead group of 7, working as a unit features, some of the best in the business: American Scottie Weisse of team Veloshine, Peter Choto of Western Spirits, Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray, Marlon Castillo of Team Santinos, Shane Vasquez of Western Spirits, Ernest Meighan of Team Santinos, and Byron Pope of Team Benny's Megabytes.
As the lead group of 7 prepares to enter the Capital City, it is headed by Scottie Weisse, and some 3 minutes later, the main peloton, now significantly smaller, is headed by American John Delong of Team Veloshine.
Heading of out of Belmopan, the configuration remains the same with the breakaway of 7, headed by Weisse, looking to head back to Belize City, and approximately 3 minutes later, the main peloton begins their return journey.
At the front, Weisse and the other 6 from the established breakaway, hydrate, after all they've in the lead for 40+ miles, and by this time, the elements of the sun, and the headwind are in full force.
Somewhere around mile 33, Ernest Meighan can no longer keep up with the break, and is subsequently dropped. So, the lead group that was 7 has now become 6, while Brandon Cattouse gets refreshments from his service group.
That group of 6 continues to coordinate, sharing the work, which leads to Cattouse taking the station prize at mile 31.
This lead group of 6 includes, American Scottie Weisse, Peter Choto and Shane Vasquez of Western Spirits, Byron Pope of Bennys Megabytes, Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray, and Marlon Castillo of Team Santino's.
At around mile 25, the chase group is reportedly now only 2 minutes and 35 seconds behind, led by American John Delong, of Team Veloshine, obviously with wicked intentions as he keeps it on the extreme left-hand side of the road, against the flow of traffic, technically referred to as the "gutter".
On the return, at Rockville, Shane Vasquez captures the station prize.
Meanwhile, John Delong continues to lead the chase group, now only a minute and 40 seconds behind. Worthy of note is that group has now dwindled to less than 15 riders.
At around mile 18, Delong and the chase finally catches up and merges with the breakaway, and it now becomes a different race.
The station prize at Hattieville is takenby Peter Choto of Western Spirits, and the configuration has changed to 13 riders now in the lead group.
Around mile 13, the lead group of 13 is still being paced by American John Delong, and it includes Richard Troyer, Allen Castillo, Ron Vasquez, Quinton Hamilton, Herman Requena, and the 6 from the original breakaway.
By the time the race arrives at around mile 11, 2 riders break clear from the lead group as we head towards Belize City. They are Marlon Castillo of Team Santinos, and Ron Vasquez, the defending champ. But the chase group is less than a minute behind.
At Burdon Canal Bridge, the lead duo enjoys a lead of less than a minute, and the chase group is now being led by American Scottie Weisse. Weisse and his team mate have controlled the pace for the majority of the race.
At the Police Checkpoint, Castillo and Vasquez continue to team up as they try to hold off the chase group.
And at the Fabers Road Junction, both Vasquez and Castillo start to jostle for first place.
When our camera next caught up with both men on the northern highway, they were in a mad dash to finish that 100th mile, but in the end, Marlon Castillo would come out on top.
He told us on how he held it together.
Marlon Castillo - 1st Place, 2013 Belmopan Classic
"On the end, I just decided that it was time, and to see what was happening with the crowd. I just tried an attack, and when I looked back, there a was a gap, so I just decided to drive to Belize City."
"So, tell us about your team's contribution to your win today."
"They give me a great help. So, I want to thank them for always supporting me even when I was injured. They were always around, motivating me, and telling me that I could do it."
His opponent says that it was a very tough race due some minor health reasons.
Ron Vasquez - 2nd Place, 2013 Belmopan Classic
"I caught Marlon's wheel, and I encouraged him to work. He sat a lot on my wheel, of course. I noticed he was not pushing it as much, but coming down to the sprint, he got the upper hand on me. I have a really bad knee today, so I didn't mind about that. It was just a practice race for me."
Vasquez prepped for the Cross Country, but Team Santinos is looking to give Marlon Castillo the win in the biggest classic, and the only race he's not taken as yet.
"Your team won the Krem Cycling Classic, and now it has won the Belmopan Cycling Classic. Does this give you great momentum for the Cross Country?"
Hon. Santino Castillo - Manager, Team Santinos
"Absolutely, we've won plums so far, but the biggest plum is left, which is the Cross Country, and it will be no secret. So, I might as well say it again. I will surround the team, including - if I have to bring 2 foreigners to protect Marlon, to win the Cross Country. He's won nearly every - in fact, every single race in Belize except the Cross Country Classic."
3rd place in the elite category was Brandon Cattouse. Coming in 4th was Byron Pope, and Richard Troyer round out the top five.
In the Master's Category, Scottie Weisse was first, and Ernest Meighan came in 2nd. In the female category, Marinette Flowers came in first, followed by Kerah Eiley, and Gina Lovell was 3rd.