It was a 100-mile test of speed, skill, conditioning and will, and, if anything, it certainly proved that no one cyclist is head and shoulders above the rest in conditioning right now, although Ron Vasquez of Western Spirit got away from the main peloton and managed to hold his lead across the tape for the victory. Nevertheless, Ron Vasquez, at 25 years of age, has made a statement, and has to be considered one of the big Western hopefuls come Holy Saturday, along with his 32-year-old brother and last Belizean Cross Country champion in 2006, Shane Vasquez.
The record of 4:07:35 set in 2008 by Marlon Castillo was never in trouble on Sunday. Notably, Marlon did not ride, and speculation is that he has parked his wheels for an extended sabbatical. 58 riders started, and 23 finished within the 30-minute time limit after the winner.
Ron Vasquez (Western Spirit) crossed the finish line alone and triumphantly in 4:24:41, less than a minute ahead of a chasing bunch of 9 who arrived in 4:25:32, themselves a full 10 minutes ahead of the next finisher. Completing the top 10 finishers were 2nd place Darnell Barrow (Santino’s), who won this race last year; 3rd Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray); 4th Austin Armstrong (D&D Cycling), a former Junior champion who just moved up to U23; 5th Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes); 6th Robert Liam Stewart (M&M Engineering); 7th Geovanni Choto (Western Spirit); 8th Shane Vasquez (Western Spirit); 9th Quinton “The Baddest” Hamilton (Santino’s); and 10th Edward Reyes (D&D Cycling), all clocking 4:25:32.
Other finishers within the time limit included 11th place Erwin Middleton (Capital City); 12th Allen Castillo (Benny’s Megabytes), 13th David Henderson (Capital City), and 14th Leroy Casasola (Santino’s), all in 4:36:15; 15th Gregory Lovell (Santino’s) in 4:37:40; 16th Richard Troyer (Western Spirit) in 4:38:30; 17th Sherman Thomas (Capital City) and 18th Ron McKenzie (Santino’s), both in 4:39:17; 19th Mark Staine (Benny’s Megabytes) in 4:39:31; 20th Kenroy “Smokes” Gladden (unattached) and Angel Tzib (Benny’s Meg.), both in 4:48:45; 22nd Herman “Hijo” Requena (Benny’s Meg.) in 4:50:14; and 23rd Tariq Cano (Capital City) in 4:51:43.
23 started and 15 finished in the Junior & Youths race, which went to La Democracia junction and back, a distance of 56 miles. Oscar Qurious, Jr. (unattached) claimed 1st place from a group of 5 that came in together in a time of 2:37:56. Others in the bunch were 2nd place Aiden Emir Juan (Cayo High Road), 3rd Brandon Morgan (C-Ray), 4th Deezan Spence (D&D Cycling) and 5th Riis Cattouse (C-Ray).
Rolling in almost 9 minutes later in 6th place was Zahir Figueroa (Cayo Uprising), who also claimed the distinction of being the first Youth to cross the line in 2:45:26. 2nd in the Youth category was Delawn Abraham (Benny’s Meg.) in 2:45:56, and 3rd Zamir Guerra (Cayo High Road) in 2:58:16.
Only 2 cyclists participated in the Female category in Sunday’s Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Classic, and they were two C-Ray teammates, Kerah Eiley and Kaya Cattouse, who both cruised to the finish in that order in 3:22:12. (Shalini Zabaneh opted to ride with the males in the Weekend Warriors Ariel Rosado Memorial race the same day.)
Article courtesy Amandala