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May 12, 2006

17th Annual Female Cross Country set for Sunday

Story PictureOn Sunday morning, mothers across Belize should be waking up to breakfast in bed, flowers and other showers of gratitude. But a dozen young women, including a handful of mothers, will be gearing up for the seventeenth annual female cross country. Today I got a preview of the race from the seat of the competition.

Anthea Sutherland, Champ, 2005 Female Cross Country Cycling Race
?The female cross country is very exciting to look at. I think it?s even better than the male cross country. Lot of excitement, the female will do their outmost best to have the general public enjoy the race.?

Jacqueline Godwin
The Female Cross Country Cycling Race is not as popular as its male counterpart but competition between these women is no less real. This year, the race is expected to be hotly contested, mostly because temperatures are expected to soar to ninety six degrees.

John Swift, Organizer, Female Cross Country Cycling Race
?As you can all see the weather has been pretty hot these days, the humidity will be quite high so is expect it to be one of the most gruelling race in the years to come.?

This year twelve ladies will be pedalling seventy miles for the championship. The race starts in San Ignacio, with the big finish taking place inside the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City.

Defending champ Anthea Sutherland is hoping to hold onto her title.

Anthea Sutherland
?The toughest part of the race are the hills, lot of hills. And I?m a person who no really like the hills so, but when you reach the flat everything okay.?

Alicia Thompson took first place in the New Year?s Classic and is looking for another big win.

Alicia Thompson, Champ, New Year?s Classic
?I have my family especially my mother; she wants me to win this one for her. Anthea did it last year; we?ll see what will happen this year. The competition is very stiff I most say that but we will try our best. I know the girls are ready.?

Jacqueline Godwin
?Let?s look at the line up of cyclists at this time. Are you encouraged by the number of women participating??

John Swift
?Yes we are. We are pretty much enthusiastic about the number of riders taking part in the female riding now. Last year we had quite a large field, this year one of the riders that took part will not be competing Ms. Ana Marie Bennett due to health reason. In light of that, the enthusiasm is very great in female cycling at this time.?

Alicia Thompson
?We just want the support of more people, I know its Mother?s Day. But we would really like for fans to come out and support us, just as they did for the male cross country.?

Extra incentive for this year?s race has been a boost in the number of prizes up for grabs.

John Swift
?During the course of the race they will have a title known as, ?Queen of the Hills? which will be the seven high points on the highway, whereby, they will accumulate points. Points will be given from places one to three. First earning three points, second two points and third place one point. After which the cyclist with the most number of points at the seven points will be given a prize of a thousand dollars donated by Sol Belize.?

Anthea Sutherland
?The first place is very good one three thousand dollars, a trophy, an overnight stay at San Pedro, and a two way ticket from American Airlines.?

Alicia Thompson
?I would like to thank all of our sponsors especially B.T.L. they really came through for us this year. Thanks Ms. Suzette and Mrs. Bevans. Belize Bank you did well this year, that?s Mr. Coye from Belize Bank and we have other small sponsors like: Wellworth Store, Medina House of Jewellery and The Party Centre.?

The Female Cross Country will start at eight thirty on Sunday morning in front of the police station in San Ignacio Town. The public and especially villagers along the route are encouraged to go out and give support to riders.

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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