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92nd Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic #556683
04/13/22 10:35 AM
04/13/22 10:35 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Re: 92nd Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic [Re: Marty] #556713
04/15/22 05:32 AM
04/15/22 05:32 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Here is some footage of the Annual Cross-Country Parade - where the riders do a ceremonial procession through the city streets this evening.

That's a prime for the return of the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic on Saturday - which you can see on Channel 7 as we re-broadcast the official stream form he Belize cycling Federation.

Re: 92nd Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic [Re: Marty] #556731
04/16/22 05:27 AM
04/16/22 05:27 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Live Coverage from LoveFM

The 92nd edition of the annual Cross Country Cycling Classic has started! The cyclists will make their way on the George Price Highway to San Ignacio and back to Belize City as they race for the garland. The Belize Tourism Board is a proud sponsor of this historic tradition, being the longest running sporting event in the region.

92nd Annual Holy Saturday Cycling Classic

Re: 92nd Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic [Re: Marty] #556745
04/17/22 05:28 AM
04/17/22 05:28 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
The Top 10 Finishers of today's 92nd Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic. Congratulations!

[Linked Image]

2022 Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic (The Last Breakaway)
That heartbreaking moment when we lost it.
Belizean cyclists, Byron Pope and Marlon Castillo gave it their all.

[Linked Image]
Click photos for more pictures!

Re: 92nd Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic [Re: Marty] #556775
04/20/22 05:30 AM
04/20/22 05:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Cross Country, The Definitive Breakdown

And, if you want to talk about what we lost to COVID - perhaps nothing looms as large as the Holy Saturday Cross Country cycling Classic. Never in the race's storied 92 year history has there been an interruption of two years - not even after Hurricane Hattie. But that's what COVID did, and that interval made riders even more inspired to possess the coveted garland.

All that buildup and anticipation led to an unusual race out on the George Price highway - where job one for the Belizean riders was to keep the Guatemalans - who dominated the most recent race in 2019 - far from the podium; and job #2, was to keep the garland at home. Mission accomplished on job #1, but #2? Not so much.

Kwame Scott has the total, definitive breakdown of each pedal stroke, and each attack. Here's his account:

On Saturday April 16, 2022, first post COVID running of the Cross Country Cycling Classic, this happens to be the 92nd edition, At the sign in, veteran Roque Matus of team M&M engineering, One of Belize's brightest hopes, Oscar Quiroz from 501 Valvoline.

Byron pope from Westrac Alliance partakes in the formality And just before takeoff, Former champions Michael Lewis and Julio Padilla are called to the front

At 5:50, 80 riders roll out from the Digi park - these include 1 Mexican, 1 American 1 Anguilla, 1 Barbadian, 3 Guatemalans and 73 Belizeans

As we roll through the principal streets of Belize City at dawn, towards the official start Leslie's imports, every rider carries the dream that in 6 hours, they'll be back on these streets streaking to victory. In the early morning, it's cool and calm, but form all accounts in a couple hours, there will be hot sun and heavy southeast winds.

At Leslie's imports, there's the starting gun. And we're officially on our way, on the George Price Highway headed west to San Ignacio - after months of training, early mornings, special diets, exile form their families, this is the reason - it's here, now or never, Cross Country 2022.

Around mile 3, Gregory Lovell of team G Glow and Carlton Robinson of Westrac are attempting to escape, Around mile 4, veteran Jose Choto of Team Road Rage launches an attack on the left hand side of the road -

He attracts the attention of the entire peloton - which is full of nothing but fresh legs at this point - including Guatemalan Jose Canastuj who was a part of the Guatemalan 3 man sweep in 2019.

As our camera makes its way back to the front we give you some of the sights and sounds inside the 80 man peloton.

As we approach the Burden Cabal bridge, G Flow's Gian Lino and M&M's Windell Williams Jr are trying their own version of an early escape.

But it wasn't meant to be, as we pass the mile 8 roundabout, the entire peloton is back together and we can see our Caribbean invitees from Barbados and Anguilla near the front

Around mile 9, some 5 riders have linked up at the front, these include Sherwin Roca, Gregory Lovell, Sean Codd, Brandon Cattouse and Carlton Robinson, but, again, it wasn't meant to be as the peloton is right on their heels.

As we head towards mile 11, young Eric Trapp launches an attack, let's see what will be.

As we head towards mile 13, Trapp has been joined by the young sensational Sean Codd who happens to be the current under 23 national road champion riding for team G Flow. The two appear to be possessed, and this early, skeptics might refer to a move like this as a suicide mission.

Rolling through Hattieville , their lead is now 50 seconds as Trapp easily takes that station prize. There is no serious chase on at this time as the pack appears to be testing each other.

As we approach Rockville, Eric Trapp and Sean Codd seem to have settled down - their pedal strokes look smooth, their cadence looks comfortable and their lead is now a minute and 7 seconds.

As we approach mile 24, Codd and Trapp are still in the lead and they easily take and share the five hundred dollars in memory of Cuthbert Bailey and the $125.00 in memory of able Ordonez at mile 25.

Around mile 28, G Flow's Sean Codd and Westrac's Eric Trapp remain in the lead - but the word is now out that a dangerous group of riders are now in hot pursuit.

At Mahogany Heights, the lead two riders have been caught by four, Marlon Castillo, Byron Pope John Delong and Hasani Hennis.

The chase is now officially underway, led by the three Guatemalans

Around mile 35 and with a minute and a half gap, the Guatemalans remain in hot pursuit - getting help from absolutely no one at this point.

As we approach Beaver Dam Bridge around mile 40, the lead 6 are working together like a well oiled machine

The lead 6 include Anguillan national Hasani Hennis, Byron Pope and Eric Trapp of Westrac, American John Delong from Team Skyline , and Marlon Castillo from team Fal.

Headed towards Belmopan, the latest time check between this lead group of 6 and the nearest chase is 4 minutes 50 seconds

Rolling across the Roaring Creek Bridge the lad group of 6 is led by Sean Codd, followed by Hasani Hennis, Byron Pope, Eric Trapp, John Delong and Marlon Castillo in that orde.r.

Some four minutes plus later the chase comes into view, still being led by the three Guatemalans, are they hanging them out to dry or will the Guatemalans prove their prowess?

At the infamous Mount Hope, the lead group of 6 is trying to extend its lead but Sean Codd is making it a bit difficult for John De Long and Eric Trapp to make it across the summitt.

As we approach Floral Park the lead has now ballooned to six minutes 30 seconds, the lead 6 remains Byron Pope and Eric Trap of Westrac Alliance,

Marlon Castillo of Team Fal, Anguillan national Hasani Hennis, American John Delong from Team Skyline and Belize's national under 23 road champion Sean Codd from G Flow.

In a cycling event lasting almost 6 hours, the human body must constantly be replenished - we give thanks for the many spectators along the way who make it their business to assist in this regard

Rolling through Central Farm, the lead 6 are still working together and enjoying an almost 7 minute lead - which, in cycling is a W-O-W at this point.

As they roll across the Hawkesworth Bridge headed back to Belize City - we can see the group of 6 is now down to 5

Eric Trapp has been dropped - and is now officially in no man's land. 6 plus minutes, Bajan Joshua Kelly and Belizean 501 Valvoline's Joshua Fuller are attempting to chase.

And a couple seconds behind, the main peloton headed by Sherwin Roca and Joslyn Chavarria Junior, heads back to Belize City.

Meanwhile rolling past the Orange Gallery, the lead group of 5 are taking on refreshments while still enjoying a 5 plus minute lead.

Around mile 59, Sean Codd has been dropped - and the lead group is now down to 4.

As we head towards Ontario this lead group of 4 features Anguillan Hasani Hennis, team Fal's Marlon Castillo and Byron Pope of Westrac Alliance and American John Delong who's taking service.

At Brick Wall or Dead Man's Curve, John Delong leads the group of 4, as the continue their quest to reach Belize City without being caught.

In a curling event like the Cross Country after running together for more than 50 miles you become like family, as we can see Byron Pope sharing liquids with the Anguillan Hasani Hennis.

At the Belmopan junction the lead group of four continues to enjoy over 5 minutes lead -

at this time there's a breakaway group chasing the lead group made up of Guatemalan Julip Padilla Oscar Quiroz Nathan Ysaguirre, Geovanni Lovell, Joslyn Chavarria Jr and Richard Santiago

Heading out of Belmopan passing the Art Box the main peloton is led by Brandon Morgan of C Town cycling Team followed by Ernest Bradley of Fal. (Slow)

Around mile 41, although still over 4 minutes behind the closest chase group consists of Oscar Quiroz, Giovanni Lovell, Nathan Ysaguirre, Barbadian Joshua Kelly, Guatemalan Julio Padilla, Joslyn Chavarria Jr, Sean Codd and Richard Santiago.

Around mile 41 - we pay our respects to Edison Vintage Usher and Kadeem Banks, Rest In Peace, brothers.

Heading towards La Democracia - the time gap is now over 6 minutes and for these four, it is a war of attrition, against mind and muscle and the asphalt that now seems endless.

At Democracia, the crowds are out to cheer on the Belizean riders - but it's American John Delong who easily takes that station prize as the Foundation continues to march on.

Meanwhile, the chase group that was 7 is now down to 3, Oscar Quiroz, Julio Padilla and Geovanni Lovell.

At Rockville, Marlon Castillo easily takes that prize - and the four are still

As we head towards Hattieville, the lead four still features John Delong who first came to Belize in 2007 to ride the M&M tour and has become a fixture in Belizean cycling ever since - even winning the Krem New Year's day race in 2018.

Hasani Hennis, racing in Belize for the first time, came at the invitation to the Anguillan Federation.

Marlon Castillo is making a come back after being off the bike for almost 6 years. His best finish in the cross country being a fourth place finish in 2011.

And Byron Pope who has been an elite cyclist since 2006, with his best performance in the cross country being 4th place in 2012 .

Rolling through Hattieville, and with report that the cashiers are gaining time, the lead four appears to be trying to figure out where to purchase some energy.

And as we exit Hattieivlle, John Delong has attacked followed very closely by Hennis. Marlon Castillo and Byron Pope are fighting to remain in contact.

As we approach mile 13, the four are back together. We now know that the two Belizeans appear to be the weaker elements.

Around mile 12, Anguillan Hasani Hennis launches an attack, Pope tries to follow but he can't hang on. Hennis looks back - which signals that he's hurting also.

Mercifully, the four come back together as we head towards mile 11 - the latest time check reported to be a little over 3 minutes.

Passing through the 8 mile community - the lead four remain intact - but for how much longer - everyone seems to be in their reserve tank.

Just after Burdon Canal bridge, American John Delong launches yet another attack, Hassan sticks to him like glue, Marlon Castillo and Byron Pope have been dropped - they are trying desperately to close the gap but it is now a two man race - the island of Anguilla versus North Carolina, USA.

Rolling past the Belizean Beach at the police checkpoint the 42 year old American and the 24 year old Anguillan appear to be well in control sharing the pace as we inch our way towards the city.

Appraoching the thousand dollar prize at Leslie;s Imports, John Delong launches yet another attack in an attempt to shake off Hennis, but just like a crown on a king, or a tyre on a rim, Hennis sticks to him.

Entering the city, heading unto Central American Boulevard, John Delong remains on the pace, followed very closely by Hennis - Pope and Castillo are nowhere in sight.

As we head towards the finish line, it is now a game of cate and mouse, Hennis being the cat, Delong being the mouse. Hennis is a sprinter and would like to come as close as possible before committing, Delong;s best bet would have been to try and shake off Hennis before sighting the finish line.

In the end, it is Anguilla Hasani Hennis easily beating out John Delong, to claim the 2022 cross country garland.

One minute 16 seconds later, Byron Pope crossed the line third, with Marlon Castillo finishing fourth.

Almost three minutes later, defending champion Julio Padilla finishes fifth - Oscar Quiroz pulls up 6th, and Giovanni Lovell pulls up 7th.

The 140 mile race was completed in 5 hours 50 minutes 26 seconds, about 10 minutes slower than the 2008 record.

Notably, John Delong was 3rd in 2010 and 3rd in 2013 - and, now, second this year.

The Riders Review of Cross Country

And while that is the definitive breakdown of every consequential event in the race - here's what the top riders had to say at the finish line:

80 riders started the race and 50 finished.

Channel 7

Anguillan Cyclist, Hasani Hennis Snags 2022 Cross Country Title

It was suspended for two years because of the COVID pandemic and while the reigning champion, Guatemalan Julio Miranda Padilla was not a serious threat in the home stretch for this year’s Cross Country Cycling Classic, Belize still did not regain the title for ninety-second Holy Saturday race. New Five’s Marion Ali was at the finish line and filed the following report.

Marion Ali, Reporting

The garland for the 2022 Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic belongs to Anguillan cyclist, Hasani Hennis. The twenty-five-year-old snagged the prestigious title of Cross Country Champion in convincing fashion, pedaling past second place finisher, American John DeLong on the approach to the finish line at the Digi Park on Newtown Barracks. At 11:54 a.m., Hennis crossed the finish line in five hours, fifty minutes, twenty-eight seconds. DeLong was two seconds behind at the tape. Hennis told the media that he thought Belizean cyclists have matured over the years that he’s been following them.

Hasani Hennis, Holy Saturday Cross Country Champion

“Belizeans [have] come a long way; they’re really strong. I mean it’s a long, tough race, so you could expect this, but like a hundred and thirty-five-K-race, they would do really great.”

But for the first two Belizeans to cross the finish line, Byron Pope and Marlon Castillo, team work between them could have resulted in a much better finish than the third and fourth that they placed.

Byron Pope, Third place, Holy Saturday Cross Country Race

“He [DeLong] started attacking at Hattieville and I haul up to Marlon and seh “Marlon, if you have it you got to go with those guys. He said “Popey, we need to rotate.” I said, “No problem. Let’s rotate.” But he was kinda yelling at me and saying that I’m trying to ride for First Belizean. I said, “No, Marlon. I deh pahn my limits just like you and you need to understand racing.”

Marlon Castillo, Fourth place, Holy Saturday Cross Country Race

“I wa be honest widunu, I think da first Belize thing wehdeh got I think that mek the Belizeans dehnuh ride to the fullest weh dehn need fi ride. I think dehn settle fi the first [Belizean prize] weh the Belize got, the foreigner dehn gone. I tell Byron let’s go and wi work together cause the first time me one bring dem in. Gimme a lee hand and come round and then yoh neva know, any one ah we could win. Byron is a fast man.”

For Pope, it was a disappointing finish. He said he trained hard, riding the full length of the race three times prior to the actual race in preparation, but when it came down to the sprint coming back home, he knew he was going up against the best in the sport.

Byron Pope

“I feel like I kinda let down Belize a little because everybody was cheering for us, but I’ll be honest, Hasani Hennis is no joke. I know the guy well from – I’ve raced with him in the Caribbean. I’ve raced with him in the States and he’s a well-rounded guy. John DeLong is no stranger to Belize. He recently came off a pro roster so that guy is still good, noh.”

DeLong has placed in the top five before in the Cross Country race, but this was his best performance yet. He told reporters that he got confused over where the finish line was.

John DeLong, Second place,Holy Saturday Cross Country

“A mistake at the end. I knew I had to jump before I saw the finish, but I didn’t (laughs). You know, it’s hard to recognize things after a hundred and forty miles. Yeah, I came and looked at it yesterday and I said “okay, I know,” but then I turned and I saw the finish and I knew, “Oh-oh!” (laughs).”

The first break-away in the race came when Shaun Codd and Eric Trapp rode off from the main peloton at mile ten on the journey to San Ignacio, but the chase group consisting of the first four finishers caught them at Rockville and rode past them. This group went all the way to Cayo and back before DeLong and Hennis dropped Pope and Castillo at mile five on the return journey. Defending champion, Guatemalan Julio Miranda Padilla placed fifth this year.

Channel 5

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