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Mar 29, 2016

Sports Monday: Guatemalan Wins the 2016 Cross Country Garland

Good evening, I’m James Adderley, this is sports Monday and I certainly hope that you had an enjoyable holiday.

 

Of course the entire nation was glued to the 88th running of the Annual Cross Country Cycle Classic the biggest one day opportune event in this nation we call Belize. Every village, every municipality, everywhere people lived the thrill of this 140 mile road race bubbled in evidence. As we pan the 84 riders making the bid for Holy Saturday glory we find 5 former champions lined up in front of the peloton – Shane Vasquez the 2000 champion, Darnell Barrow of 2013 fame, American Bill Elliston and back to back champion Chris Harkey who won in 2003 and 2004. Today’s competitors are chasing Bryan Baumaus record of 5 hours, 40 minutes and 11 seconds set in 2008. This athlete time has held up for 7 long years going and many wonder if it will be broken. So the search for the garland begins in earnest with a field deep in talent and splashing in colors.

17 miles into the race a 3 man breakaway commands the lead and these are not ordinary rabbits. Bill Elliston, Nissan Arana and Brandon Cattouse are elite riders even if making a move so early is throwing caution to the win. A new configuration emerges at Roaring Creek. The Guatemalan rider Julio Padilla Miranda leads Joel Borland and Brandon Cattouse rolling past mile 52. Chris Harkey leads the chase bunch some 47 seconds, off the pace and the field is deep enough to be confident of their ability to reel in the leader. At the half way mark inside San Ignacio Town, the Guatemalan Julio Padilla Miranda remains the lead figure with Joel Borland and Brandon Cattouse hanging on. Bill Elliston tries to bridge the gap with Nissan Arana and Alejandro Padilla, brother to the front funnier following Bill’s lead.

Julio Padilla opts for the solo flight on the way back through Roaring Creek. Rising Star Giovanni Lovell looks for a connection with the front runners unaided. Chris Harkey’s dream of 3rd title spurs him on but he does recognize it’s an uphill struggle. Behind him the chase group can only be described as disorganized. 29 miles away from the finish line the biggest move of the 2016 race was executed. These 3 riders rolling through Hattieville, 17 miles from tape time, had upped the ante shaking off those who refused to labor. Alejandro and Julio Padilla, the Guatemalan riders initiated the separation and only young Joel Borland was able to hold on. 50 seconds off the pace, Bill Elliston, Nissan Arana and Brandon Cattouse try to mount a challenge. Inside Belize City at the finish line the fans await the arrival of the front runners. They are aware that 2 Guatemalans are in the lead and their fervent prayer is that Joel Borland will rise to the occasion. Also the double team proves too much for the warrior Borland who for 139 miles gave it his all.

Alejandro and Julio Padilla Miranda finis 1st and second in uncontested fashion and we must say congratulations. The win is big and it’s theirs in a time of 5 hours, 51 minutes and 9 seconds some 10 minutes, 48 seconds off the record. About a minute and a half later the solitary figure of a brave warrior Joel Borland pedals in for 3rd place. The U-23 needed help but these was none and today his best wasn’t good enough to the rest and you put up quite a fight. The sprint for 4th place brought the excitement the fans were waiting for. Brandon Cattouse overtakes Bill Elliston on the outside while on the inside Nissan Arana makes his move.

Brandon Cattouse surges to the tape for the 4th place, forcing Bill Elliston in 5th, the American Socttie Wiess who was the runner up last year pull up 6th while Nissan Arana steps up to the 7th place. Robert Liam Stewart holds on for 8th place edging out Henry Morriera while Ron Vasquez comes from behind to zip past Angee Tzib for 10th. The big three on the podium, the Padilla brothers of the Guatemalan National Team and Joe Borland of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling team were deserving of their victory. The Champion Alejandro Padilla Miranda was already moving on to the next event. So 2016 is now history and the 1-2 win by the Guatemalan will be a powerful motivation for the local riders. The 89th edition of the Annual Cross Country Cycle Classic cometh and only the brave can take it.

Jah over all, I’m James Adderley.

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1 Response for “Sports Monday: Guatemalan Wins the 2016 Cross Country Garland”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    The thing that disappoints more is that every single day they are riding in the hwy and can’t win, why the hell can’t they win? The worst to happen is that guatemalans come to win when they suppose to know much better the hwy and to be more confident. It’s really embarrassing with things like these bet less people are getting interested in cycling for next yr.
    Every day they are obstructing the hwy riding like if they know what they are doing but seems they have no clue about it.

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