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Mar 25, 2008

U.S. rider takes 80th Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic

Story PictureGood evening, I’m James Adderley and we certainly hope you had a wonderful Easter Holiday and it is indeed our pleasure to bring you this portion of Sports Monday.

A grand total of one hundred and seventeen athletes, featuring eighteen teams and including twenty-five foreign cyclists from as far North as the United States and as deep south as Colombia are lined up for this year’s event. And with the official start signaled the men on their mean machines blasted off for the eightieth running of the Annual Cross Country Cycling now reduced in modern times to a mere hundred and forty miles of riding on the western Highway.

By the time the race streaks through the Hattieville area, the American Gregory Muet suited up for Sagitun and the Guatemalan Manuel Rhodas riding for this home team Cable DX have jumped out of the main pick as they test the field that includes four former champion since the defending champion Boyd Johnson did not return for 2008. They’re momentarily joined by Doniceti Vasquez, a Mexican brought in by Sugar City Boys. But Manuel Rhodas opts out of the trio to make a solo flight and people, did this rider impact the Holy Saturday Cross Country. Number two hundred and twenty-two of Guatemala, would run above from outside Belmopan, scraping all station prizes on a rout rich with premies and here he is coming out of the turning point inside San Ignacio now on old Hawksworth Bridge heading towards the finish line here in Belize City. However there’s a determined chase group on his heels with Giovanni Choto, Froggy Leslie, Ryan Bauman, Doniceti Vasquez and Luis Santigo leading the way but the Cable DX rider had already wrapped up some seven thousand, eight hundred dollars in prizes.

This man Luis Santigo, another Guatemalan—he’s riding for Café Quetzal—stepped out to win eight station prizes in a row. Still it is the twenty year old American Ryan Bauman riding for San Cas Red Bull who makes the biggest move out of the new configuration as he breaks out around the Hector Silva Airstrip and would never be caught people. At La Democracia, Bauman had jumped to a three minute lead. Around the Hattieville Police Station that lead had been extended even further and by eight miles the lead is up to some seven minutes—a lead that would be described as unmanageable in technical biking terms and a lead that would earn him twenty-two consecutive premies and a solo flight through to Central American boulevard in front of a speechless Belizean public.

And here is Bryan Bauman winning the 2008 classic in uncontested fashion, four minutes and forty-eight seconds ahead of his nearest challenger, setting a brand new race record of five hours, forty minutes, twelve seconds eclipsing last years record by some seven minutes. To this American we say congratulations. Big Mike Lewis of Sugar City Boys prevailed in the battle for the consolation prize, grabbing second from Guatemalan Luis Santigo of Café Quetzal, Guatemalan Carlos Hernandez riding for M&M Engineering takes fourth, Gavril Epstein of Red Bull rounds out the top five. But we’re yet looking for another Belizean but it’s Colombian Jose Roches of Benny’s Megabytes in sixth, Guatemalan Lisandro Acu of Santino’s seventh, Christian McNish of Panama eight, Belizean Mateo Cruz of San Cas Red Bull gets ninth while Darnell Barrow another Belizean but he’s riding for Benny’s Megabytes finishes tenth for a total of three Belizeans inside the top ten in 2008.

Ryan Bauman, Cross Country Champion
“There were some foreigners in break away that were attacking me all the time and no one wanted to work whenever we got a gap so I attacked to build upon when everyone was going for the premies and everyone was tired from attacking for the premies and I got about a thirty second gap up some of the hills and I just kept going. I felt very good for the first two hours and I just survived the end with all the energy from the crowd in Belize.”

James Adderley
“Take us through the breakaway when it was executed at mile forty-seven.”

Bryan Bauman
“Yes, we were just trying to be represented in all the breakaways. We wanted to have at least one or two guys in every move so we didn’t have to waste energy chasing but it turns out that the breakaway got so much time and so many people that it stayed away the entire race. We were working for Froggy in the breakaway. All I was trying to do was make sure that he could have good legs for the finish and I just got lucky and it let me go.”

James Adderley
“You broke the record and what does it mean to you?”

Bryan Bauman
“I can’t believe that we won faster than last year and the wind conditions were very fair to us this year. I think in previous years with a bigger group they were able to go harder and they had to expend more energy. This year the winds were calm so it was just a good day for a record.”

Michael Lewis, 2nd Place in Cross Country
“Weh I noh like with Belizeans since they ride with foreigners, all ah them mek the foreigners ride the race fi them. I noh want ride wit no foreigners because I train to hard fi this race fi ride fi wah foreigner. I noh wah train six months and wah man wah come three days and I fi ride fi them. Noh man me no deh gainst that. That’s why I noh ride with nobody because they can’t help me. Most man noh ride with me because they seh I selfish but they noh want work fi me but when the race done they want collect my money and I tell them I noh give money if yoh noh wok yoh understand? Yo get money fi cause ah how yoh work. I forty years old but when I get pan this bike I thirty yoh know. And dat da weh cripple riders because they noh ready fi me. After twenty-four Cross Country I still deh round.”

Kwame Scott
“So what’s next for you, next year’s Cross Country or races in between?”

Michael Lewis
“If I noh get wah good sponsor I noh think I wah ride again because I noh get the support weh deh bally get.”

Kwame Scott
“You rode for Sugar City Boys and you had two Mexicans riding for you earlier. Did that allow you to sit back?”

Michael Lewis
“No because I di ride the race with my experience. Everybody deh out deh pah ride fi yourself because deh bally no really help me but I ride with my ability weh I got.”

Okay, so we’ll just do I again next year.

Turning to the football scene, the National Team of Belize arrived in St. Kitts on Sunday March twenty-third for the away match in Their World Cup qualifying series with St. Kitts and Nevis. Our team goes in with a 3-1 lead and feel pretty confident they will be able to make it to the next round which would be making history at the same time. These players are Shane Orillo, Carlos Slusher, Trevor Lennon, Jerome James, Cristobal Gilharry, Victor Morales, Derris Benavidez, Bernard Linares, David Trapp, Harrison Tasher, Elroy Smith, Harrison Roches, Eian Gaynair, Ryan Simpson, Dennis Serrano, Tyrone Pandy, Everal Trapp, Jerome Serrano and we certainly take this opportunity to wish our team maximum success and we hope to see history being written.

In other football news, action in the Super League playoffs over the weekend saw Texmar Boys bomb Forever Strong Kraal Road 4-zip and Benque DC United rolled over Estrellas F.C. 3 to 1. Texmar now leads with 10 points, Benque shows 8, Kraal Road 4 estrellas zip. This Saturday Texmar will host Benque D.C. United in a pivotal showdown while the match between Kraal Road and Estrellas F.C. is tentatively set for Friday night at the M.C.C. Grounds. You know it’s a busy weekend inside the M.C.C. Grounds so we’ll just play it by ear.

That’s it for now though. We invite you back same time, same place, next week. Jah over all, I’m James Adderley.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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