Cycling Federation of Belize

2016 HSCCC Start List


The official 2016 start list for the 88th edition of the Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic was made available this morning. So who is in and who is out?.

Greg Lovell is out for DigiCell 4G, and has been since the completion of the Krem New Year’s Day Classic for apparent anti-doping issues. Byron Pope, the Benny’s Megabytes captain, is obviously out as indicated in his recent television appearance outlining his own anti-doping woes. 2016 Valentine Tour Champion, Juan Manuel Yapur, is unable to make it due to conflicting schedules. Horace Burrows and his fellow Guyanese rumored to be coming had already confirmed they would not make it. Other notable local names missing out this year entirely include, 2012 Champ Giovanni Choto (C-Ray), out due to a traffic accident last year, Aiden Juan (C-Ray), Marlon Castillo and Joslyn Chavarria (DigiCell 4G).

Junior Riders
Traditionally, junior riders who will graduate to the U23 category the following year are allowed courtesy participation. Among those are, arguably, the top three junior riders in Darien Anderson (Benny’s), and Kaydine Pinelo and Ernest Bradley (SMART). Also confirmed is Anthony Lewis Jr (Westrac Alliance).

Team Yapurland is back sans Yapur. Team Cancun is also back featuring Yair de Jesus Jimenez Godinez who finished 1 step off the podium at fourth last year. These riders are not Juan Pablo Magallanes, Florencio Ramos Torres and Ignacio Prado, but this is an endurance race and some of these guys have proven that they can last five to six hours in the Belizean heat.

The Padilla-Miranda brothers of Julio and Alejandro are joined by U23 rider Giovanni Macario Sam-Poz as part of a Guatemalan National Selection. The Padilla brothers are familiar with the Belizean Podium and have threatened the top step in the cross country before.

Veteran Americans, Anthony Taylor, Jeffrey Monzingo and 2005 Champ Bill Elliston have made their annual trip. It’s more than Easter vacation for these guys. Elliston finished in the second group last year and Taylor routinely finish strong long after many youngsters abandon.

Also present is Team Starlight, featuring two time champion Chris Harkey and podium finishers John DeLong and Scottie Weiss. David Flynn rounds out the quartet. However, their participation is still uncertain at this time. Yesterday, they were ploughed by motorist while on a routine ride on the highway. With them were Lori Harkey, wife of Chris and Jackie Flynn, wife of David. The ladies, who were at the back of the group suffered the worst, as they were hit first. In addition to bumps and bruises, Lori, reportedly suffered facial injuries while Jackie suffered a broken collar bone. Also, all four guys, we were informed, did not suffer broken bones but were pretty banged up all the same, including their bikes. This definitely changes the landscape of the race. Starlight put on a premium performance last year with Weiss putting in work with the escapees to eventually finish second.

DigiCell 4G
It’s surely all or nothing for DigiCell. They have the most complete team and have seemingly put their in-race struggles behind them this year. Borland and Lovell have matured to the level apparently necessary for 100+ mile races. Joel Vanegas has filled the void left by strong-man Joslyn Chavarria. Veterans Robert Mariano and Leroy Casasola are in the ears of their young teammates on the road. They may be peaking at the right time; tomorrow will tell.

Western Spirit
The past two years seemed to be a series of unfortunate events for Oscar Quiroz Jr. He has eased himself back into the peloton this year with hopes of a good showing in Cross Country. Ron Vasquez has been one of the most consistent riders in over the last two years but that has not translated into Cross Country success. He is joined by veterans Liam Stewart and his brother Shane Vasquez.

Westrac Alliance
Westrac is a new outfit with familiar riders. At the forefront is Nissan Arana who seems to be in the best form of his career at this time of the year. The group includes riders who have proven this year that they are ready to leave everything on the road. Ron Mckenzie has resurfaced as a great asset to the team. Keion Robateau had a stage win in the Valentine Tour and seems to be on the edge of doing big things. Elston Coleman, Shane Jones, Delawn Abraham, and Brandon Morgan have all worked themselves into supporting the Westrac headliners. Deryn Bellini completes the unassuming squad. They are hungry and keen on proving that they deserve to be called among the top teams.

Benny’s Megabytes
David Henderson is more than the de-facto leader of this reduced team, now that Byron Pope is out. He is also the most accomplished. Henderson finished third last year in the Cross Country and though he had a late start this year, he proved in the recent Belmopan Classic that his form is coming along. Tarique Flowers had a strong outing last year and faces additional pressure to better his 2015 run.

C-Ray has lost two key pieces in Geovanni Choto and Aiden Juan, but Brandon Cattouse is in excellent form and Peter Choto seems to be coming around. This year, Cattouse is facing an aggressive field with less firepower than he has had in the past. However, this is also an excellent opportunity for him to use his experience and knowledge of the field to dispel the labels of being laid back. He has to make things happen and based on his performance this year, he seems to have embraced that.

Based on the races thus far in 2016, SMART seems to have lost some ground. On the bright side, Darnell Barrow is much better form than last year and Henry Moreira and Herman Requena are committed. The Cross Country is a long race and the main players on this SMART team have the legs for it. The question lies, as it always has, in the race strategies and execution.

Justin and Corey Williams are back to defend the 2015 title. After the Krem Classic Justin Williams confessed that riding unattached and solo is tough. Last year he was part of a team that included American David Santos. He expressed his desire to be able to bring a team for the Corss Country, but due to the new foreign rider regulations that possibility was lost. Last year the Williams’ brothers were off the front all day with various configurations of the breakaway that eventually led to victory. They have enough experience and familiarity with the field to find the right positions.

Other Teams
BECOL Uprising is fielding a four man team including Angel Tzib and former junior standout Zahir Figueroa. Also from the west is Chavarria Cycling Club; also fielding a four man team.

The final tally shows an 84 man field contesting the 88th edition of the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic. The local peloton is more aggressive and confident. Teams seem more coordinated and several riders seem more than primed to excel in this year’s cross country. However, like the shifting Easter winds, the Cross Country Classic has its own way of blowing the best laid plans off the road on Holy Saturday.

The Start List Below

RIDER (Nationality) TEAM
BLACK Shannon (BIZ) BECOL Uprising Cycling Team
FIGUEROA Zahir (BIZ) BECOL Uprising Cycling Team
GENTLE Delon (BIZ) BECOL Uprising Cycling Team
TZIB Angel (BIZ) BECOL Uprising Cycling Team
ANDERSON Darien (BIZ) Benny's Megabytes Elite
FLOWERS Tarique (BIZ) Benny's Megabytes Elite
GUERRA Jesmar (BIZ) Benny's Megabytes Elite
HENDERSON David (BIZ) Benny's Megabytes Elite
LESLIE Phillip (BIZ) Benny's Megabytes Elite
GRAY Kendrick (BIZ) Chavarria Cycling Club
JUAN Joseph (BIZ) Chavarria Cycling Club
ROJAS Elston (BIZ) Chavarria Cycling Club
VASQUEZ Anfernee (BIZ) Chavarria Cycling Club
CATTOUSE Brandon (BIZ) C-RAY Road Addikz
CHOTO Jose (BIZ) C-RAY Road Addikz
CHOTO Peter (BIZ) C-RAY Road Addikz
CHOTO Rafael (BIZ) C-RAY Road Addikz
SWASEY Kevin (BIZ) C-RAY Road Addikz
BORLAND Joel Adan (BIZ) DigiCell 4G Cycling Team
CASASOLA Leroy (BIZ) DigiCell 4G Cycling Team
LOVELL George Sr (BIZ) DigiCell 4G Cycling Team
LOVELL Giovanni (BIZ) DigiCell 4G Cycling Team
MARIANO Robert (BIZ) DigiCell 4G Cycling Team
MIDDLETON Erwin (BIZ) DigiCell 4G Cycling Team
SANTIAGO Richard (BIZ) DigiCell 4G Cycling Team
VANEGAS Joel (BIZ) DigiCell 4G Cycling Team
PADILLA-MIRANDA Alejandro (GUA) Guatemalan National Team
PADILLA-MIRANDA Julio (GUA) Guatemalan National Team
SAM-POZ Giovanni Macario (GUA) Guatemalan National Team
JOSEPH Fitzgerald (BIZ) LAMPAZ Cycling Team
FLOWERS Kareem (BIZ) LINK UP Cycling Team
GARCIA Armando (BIZ) LINK UP Cycling Team
WILLIAMS Corey (BIZ) LINK UP Cycling Team
WILLIAMS Justin (BIZ) LINK UP Cycling Team
AYALA BALAM Manuel (MEX) Team Cancun
CALDERON Enrique (MEX) Team Cancun
GOMEZ Omar (MEX) Team Cancun
MARTINEZ JIMENEZ Salvador (MEX) Team Cancun
VERA Richard (BIZ) Team SMART
DELONG John (USA) Team Starlight
FLYNN David (USA) Team Starlight
HARKEY Chris (USA) Team Starlight
WEISS Scottie (USA) Team Starlight
AVILA BALAM Luis Jose (MEX) Team Yapurland
SOLIS Andres Jesus (MEX) Team Yapurland
VELASQUEZ Edgar (MEX) Team Yapurland
QUIROZ Oscar Jr (BIZ) Western Spirit Cycling Team
STEWART Robert Liam (BIZ) Western Spirit Cycling Team
VASQUEZ Ron (BIZ) Western Spirit Cycling Team
VASQUEZ Shane (BIZ) Western Spirit Cycling Team
ABRAHAM Delawn (BIZ) Westrac Alliance
ARANA Nissan (BIZ) Westrac Alliance
BELLINI Deryn (BIZ) Westrac Alliance
COLEMAN Elston (BIZ) Westrac Alliance
JONES Shane (BIZ) Westrac Alliance
LEWIS Anthony Jr (BIZ) Westrac Alliance
McKENZIE Ron (BIZ) Westrac Alliance
MORGAN Brandon (BIZ) Westrac Alliance
ROBATEAU Keion (BIZ) Westrac Alliance
ABRAHAM George Sr (BIZ) Unattached
BILAL Amir (BIZ) Unattached
BUTLER Orson (BIZ) Unattached
CABRAL Stephen Jr (BIZ) Unattached
ELLISTON Bill (USA) Unattached
FERGUSON Frank (BIZ) Unattached
GABOUREL Kent (BIZ) Unattached
GLADDEN Kenroy (BIZ) Unattached
HAMILTON Quinton (BIZ) Unattached
LOPEZ Dwight (BIZ) Unattached
MAHEIA Colin (BIZ) Unattached
MAHLER Dereck (BIZ) Unattached
MONZINGO Jeffrey (USA) Unattached
TAYLOR Anthony (USA) Unattached
WILLACEY Isaiah (BIZ) Unattached

About Isaac Rhys

Isaac Rhys is the Managing Editor at Based in the Belize, he started Cyclebiz in 2015 intent on attracting more attention to local bike races and its participants.

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