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May 16, 2011

Sports Monday’s Cycling Winner is Belizean

Good Evening, I am James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.

The 22nd Annual Women’s Cross Country Cycle Classic will be remembered for a very long time because it proved to be the most competitive female race in recent memory. At the heart of this story is Shalini Zabaneh who came in as defending champion looking for a 3rd title but today she would be tested as never before. Indeed it’s a casual start yesterday to this journey that begins at Columbus Park in San Ignacio and would conclude 71.54 miles later at the Memorial Park here in Belize City—for sure things would heat up in a hurry.

We’re passing through Central Farm when the American Sara Tussey riding for Hincapie Girls steps on the pace and Shalini follows suit then backs off conceding that station prize to the visitor from the U.S. In the meantime, this group of 5 is already showing signs of having a problem with this pace.

As the race progresses, there’s no doubt that Sara Tussey has come to take this title to the U.S. Tussey continues to push the pace sweeping all the premies in sight and inside Ontario Village, it’s a 2 woman race with Shalini Zabaneh staying in the picture. Shalini does shake up the status quo coming around Brick Wall as she attacks Tussey to take that station prize. Behind the lead duo, Anthea Sutherland leads a group of 6 as they stalk the front runners.

Inside St. Matthews, Shalini has wrested control of the pace from Tussey as the duel picks up steam. And as the official indicates, the lead duo enjoys a lead of 4 minutes 52 seconds over the nearest chase group. At Mile 25, this lead has been extended to 6 minutes 58 seconds which makes the race for the 2011 title a 2 person affair.

Around Mile 10, Tussey decides she wants this station prize and revs up to take it as Shalini backs off. As they pass the police sub-station at Mile 4 the 2 cyclists seem to be preparing for the big showdown. Going in to the roundabout into Central American Boulevard, Shalini pulls a move to see how much is left in Sara Tussey’s tank. Around Princess Margaret Drive, the American decides to push the pace so Shalini stays in contact with her back wheel. So now, we’re at Memorial Park for the big finish—both riders are obviously exhausted as they push to the finish line. Shalini Zabaneh of Sagitun gives it all she has and its good enough to win the 2011 Female Cross Country title in 3 hours, 44 minutes 8 seconds.

Sara Tussey of Hincapie proved to be a worthy challenger and severely tested Shalini, but nevertheless has to settle for 2nd place. 8 minutes 11 seconds later, we have the battle for 3rd palce and Nancy Jones of Hincapie hangs on to heat a surging Alicia Thompson forcing the Belize Bank rider into 4th. Cassandra Rodriguez Quiroz a Costa Rican riding for S cycling takes 5th place while unattached. Junior rider, Patricia Chavarria rounds out the top 6.

Emil Figueroa

Of the 15 that started, 14 completed the ride and we say good show to one and all. In other cycling news Emil Figueroa of Cayo Uprising Junior Team s spearheading the effort to present a junior race this weekend so we want to him for details.

Emil Figueroa, Manager, Cayo Uprising Jr. Team

“The Uprising Cycling team along with the Cycling Association of Belize and the family of the late Christopher Chuc are sponsoring and organizing a race for juniors and riders eighteen years of age on Sunday, May 22nd starting at 8:30 starting from the ferry in San Jose Succotz. We will have prizes for the eighteen year old division and prizes also for the juniors and youths.”

Turning to the football scene, Week 12 of the Belize Bank Super league Tournament brought Placencia Assassins to the MCC Grounds for a faceoff with league leading RG City Boys yesterday. We’re only 5 minutes in when Brandon Torres takes down Tyronne Muschamp right on top the 18. International striker, Deon McCauley, lifts the ball over the wall on the spot-kick and goalkeeper, Kareem Westby, is beaten as the home team takes a 1-zip lead.

City Boys looks to double the lead when Leon Jones deals to Deon McCauley but this time the goal getter unleashes a high riser. 5 minutes into the 2nd half, Brent Whyte centers into the danger zone, the ball eventually reaches Ashley Torres who punches it past Stanley Reneau as Placencia Assassins ties the ball game 1 apiece. Pumped up, Placencia looks for more and almost gets when this corner kick is mishandled by Stanley Reneau, but despite a good effort, they nevertheless come away empty.

Folks, it was not a well played football game and neither team did enough to deserve the win as they settled for the 1-1 tie. We must say RG City Boys seem to be struggling at this juncture while Orange Walk is coming in strong. Yesterday, O.W. United crushed Cayo South United 6 to 1 at Camalote. 3rd World FC picked up its 3rd win with a 1-zip blast on Hattieville Monarch and Paradise Freedom Fighters blanked Griga Knights 3-zip at Toledo Union.

Looking ahead to Week 13, RG City Boys head south to face Griga Knights and Placencia Assassins will visit orange Walk at the People’s Stadium—both Saturday matches—while on Sunday, Paradise Freedom Fighters travel to Hattieville and 3rd World FC will host Cayo South united inside the MCC Grounds.

James Adderley

In other football news, West Lake crushed Atlantic Insurance 9-1 and Brown Bombers blanked Ebony Lake 2-zip to move on to the finals in the Smart Challenge Cup at the MCC Grounds. Thus, the 3-game finals gets off this Friday with West lake facing Brown Bombers at the MCC.

Finally folks, Sports Monday mourns the loss of Ariel Rosado to a traffic accident Saturday night. Ariel was a gifted cyclist who gave up sports to pursue a university degree and was a Channel 5 commentator in the 2010 and 2011 Cross Country race. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. Sleep on Ariel.

Jah overall, I’m James Adderley.

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