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Alicia Thompson is 2015 Women’s Cross Country Champ

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Yesterday, Sunday 17 May 2015, Alicia Thompson (Belize Bank/Swoosh Cycling Team) won the 26th Annual Women’s Cross Country Classic 04:10:56, adding her name, for the first time, to list champions for the marquee classic on the CFB Calendar. Kaya Cattouse (C-Ray Female Cycling Team) finished second 0:06:14 back and Shalini Zabaneh (Team Sagitun) finished third four seconds later.

Thompson crossed the line in solo fashion with a single fist pump just as she did to start the year when she won the Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic a minute and twenty three seconds ahead of the field. This time, however, she increased that finishing gap to over six minutes, completing a long solo run similar to her January 1st experience. The mixed expressions of joy and agony as she crossed the line validated her return to elite female cycling over a year in the making. After winning the Valentine’s Mini Tour in February of this year, Thompson was explicit in sharing her goals for the year which included this win as well as the upcoming Road Championship schedule for late June.

The field of riders to start the day included defending champion Shalini Zabaneh and 2012 Champion Kaya Cattouse. Thompson and Cattouse had evenly split the four preceding events as Thompson started out by winning the New Year’s Day Classic followed by the Valentine Mini Tour in February while Cattouse took the Belmopan Classic in March and the Labor Day Classic on May 1st. Zabaneh, who has won just about every feature race before, has had a tough 2015 season with only one podium finish this year being second place in the Valentine Mini Tour.

Today, however, Thompson did not seem intent on making this a drawn out affair and made a decisive attack near the village of Camalote exiting the Cayo Hills. With no immediate organization to chase forming behind her, she was able to open up a gap of about a minute on the peloton after the Belmopan City Junction. Kerah Eiley (Westline Cycling) and Estefany Cruz (Team Sagitun) put in quality effort on the pace. The stronger riders in the peloton, though, were clearly Cattouse and Zabaneh, but as they engaged in the cat and mouse game marking each other, Thompson’s lead continued to grow with each passing mile. About thirty two or so miles out, Zabaneh attacked, but Cattouse was able to close in on her. The duo did, however, create separation from the remainder of the field, but between mile 30 and 29 Thompson’s lead was at 04:59. At Hattieville, about fourteen miles from the finished, the gap had grown to 08:06 and it was all but settled as Thompson would complete the 50 plus mile solo ride to victory.

With her sights set on the nationals coming at the end of June, win or not, Thompson has had an impressive year so far.

The top finishers in this 26th running of the Women’s Cross Country Classic are listed below;

1.    Alicia Thompson – 4:10:56
2.    Kaya Cattouse – 4:17:10
3.    Shalini Zabaneh – 4:17:14
4.    Gabrielle Lovell – 4:23:01
5.    Estefany Cruz – 4:23:01
6.    Kerah Eiley – 4:2539

 

Click here for 2015 Women’s Cross Country Classic Photo Gallery

About Isaac Rhys

Isaac Rhys is the Managing Editor at cyclebiz.com. 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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