Shalini Supreme Again! - 05/18/10 02:21 PM
Fans lined the finishing stretch on Sunday to see Shalini Zabaneh cruise down Marine Parade all alone for her solo victory. She raised her fist in triumph and cruised in for her second Cross Country Victory. For this cyclist who rode from mile 58 to the City all alone it was an impressive and dominant display.
Shalini Zabaneh, 1st Place, Female Cross Country
"I can't bring the sprinters to the line, you know, that's no secret, I have to work on my sprinting but definitely I got them. I know they start fighting who's going to pace us, they are all sprinters. They don't like to work against the breeze; if its hurts them, it is in is my favor. "
"So even though you know how daunting it is to ride 58 miles alone, you felt that you had the strength the physical resources to do it all the way into town?"
Jamie Lee Usher, Fourth, Shalini's Team-Mate
"Our strategy was for her to go out for sure but I was just promising to do my very best. I haven't had many days on the bike, so when I did a little mini attack there I told her this is the time go for it. And I am happy that she was able to go out and prove her strengths on the bike. Once and for all she came in on her own steam. There is no disputing that she is the Mother's Day champion today. "
Shalini Zabaneh "I was giving up on it a little hearing the peloton closing me, but I just kept going and everybody really supported me and that's what kept me going."
"Talk to us about the international participants in this race. Do you think we need that?"
"Definitely, I need some competition."
Alicia Thompson finished 1:58 behind Shalini. She said she only did six weeks of training.
Alicia Thompson, 3rd Place
"I have done 4 - 5 years training around the clock and the result really was not as good as today. I don't think that putting all that training makes any difference. I think its six weeks of intense training and that's all you need."
"Did you have any hope there that if Shalini faltered you could take this race?"
"Well of course, I think anybody behind there would have had that thought and I wish I could have closed in. I am not certain if I had run earlier if I would have still been able to close it, but maybe. We can't know that now because it's finished already. I wished I could have caught her. I must say that I am proud of Ms. Zabaneh, she put in her work. I wish I could have won today because it's only myself that do not have a title as yet. I must say that my name is out there and it will always be out there regardless if I won any."
There was a sprint for third dominated by 3 time champion Marinette Flowers who edged up twin sisters Jamie Lee Usher and Janelle Chanona.
Marinette Flowers, Third Place
"I think I did well for training 1 month and 1 week. it's not that difficult it's just my back, my bike is not set for me. I didn't get the setting for my bike. My legs were fine I think I did pretty well."
"You felt that maybe if you had start training earlier you could have done better and maybe challenge Shalini."
"As a competition with Shalini I don't fear anyone. I have a family, I don't have time to train. I have my kids. I do it because I love the sports and what I did today I am really proud of myself. If I had trained a little longer I could have done much better."
"Are you surprised about how well you did? Did you know what you accomplished today?"
Janelle Chanona, tied 4th Place
"I am not sure if it is sunken in yet. I was so nervous this morning, my stomach was a just a ball of knots. I calmed down and I just said you know just be confident in yourself and do what you could do and it worked out. "
Jamie Lee Usher, 4th Shalini's team mate
"I was trying to bring in my sister, she did an excellent job. Most of the race she was on the pace and then the last ten miles, the other two riders decided to just sit down and refresh themselves. She and I brought it in. I am happy that she came in, she was able to finish. I am very proud of her because she did very well. This is her first official race and she came in strong. "
"Actually this is kind of a fluke thing because I've been preparing for the ride across Belize that's happening this year in support of the gift of life program from Rotary and my sister at the last minute decided that she was going to get a bike and start training. This was like couple weeks ago. I said well if she had the heart to do it like that then I should try to come out and do it too. "
"Talk to us about the home stretch, talk to us about when you saw 4 cyclists coming to the home stretch."
"I said well at least I could get sixth! It was just a amazing to be rubbing shoulders with these ladies. They are such awesome competitors. I felt really excited among them because some of these ladies are full time employees, they are full time moms and they have so many responsibilities. Their resources are limited. Yet they can come out here and do this. I really hope that other young women can do what these ladies show them they can do, just with a little bit of support and belief and gumption. I want to say a special hello to my grandmothers, Dorothy Chanona and Elswith Coye there on Freetown Road. She told me yesterday, 'No worry pet this is boledo town, any number can play, so just go out there and be strong!"
"She has an advantage over you because you are the mother of two."
Jamie Lee Usher
"Actually I am the mother of three. I have two sons and one daughter, one of them is 8 months old this week."
"Janelle what's next for you?"
"I am going home and relax my feet! Tuesday again, the ride across Belize on the 27th - 30th. So it's just to keep on spinning and participate in that event. "
And while Janelle moves on to the ride across Belize, the country most dominant female cyclist took home three trophies that precious garland two thousand dollars cash prize and a bag of station prizes.
10 of the 12 women finished, but 5 of them were over the time limit - meaning they finished more than half an hour after the first place finisher - thus their finish was not recorded.