Lead Out

Chavarria Delivers in 2015 Belize City September Crit


Yesterday, Sunday September 13, 2015, the Cycling Federation hosted its Annual Belize City Council/Leslie’s Imports Criterium in downtown Belize City. The circuit consists of a full lap around the Albert and Regent Streets. Scheduled amid the September celebrations, after the carnival week and before Independence Day festivities, cycling fans are treated to an entertaining day of racing. The event features various categories including Men’s Open Elite, Masters 4/5, Women’s Open Elite, Juniors, Youth 14-15, and other categories for younger kids.

The fans line the sidewalks to get an up-close view of their favorite riders zooming past lap after lap. This race is known for its gripping sprint finishes and this year’s main event, the Men’s Open Elite Category, was no different. Joslyn Chavarria Jr. (DigiCell 4G) out-kicked an eight man group that included last year’s winner Oscar Quiroz (Western Spirit) and 2013 Champ, Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes). Pope would take second, while Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray Road Addikzx) finished third, pushing Quiroz to fourth. Jesmar Guerra (Alliance United) rounded out the top five.

Not surprisingly, the race started with a quick pace as the field tried to shake those that may have residual effects of the celebration. The first move of the day came four laps in as Jesmar Guerra attacked and opened a 21 second gap on the field which was cut in half by lap five, and the peloton was back together by the following lap. The peloton would not be able to relax as a group 10 riders, led by Geovanni Choto (C-Ray Road Addikzx), immediately broke clear to the tune of 10 seconds on lap 7. By lap 9, this group had grow to an even dozen with several members capable of taking it all the way. The group included Byron Pope and Tarique Flowers of Benny’s Megabytes, Joel Borland and Joslyn Chavarria of DigiCell 4G, Oscar Quiroz and Keion Robateau of Western Spirit, Geovanni Choto and Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray Road Addikzx, Dwight Lopez and a teammate of Bel-Cal Cycling, and two loners being Henry Moriera of SMART Zoom and Jesmar Guerra of Alliance United. With the clear favorites in the lead group, each supported by a teammate, they apparently agreed to stay clear of the field and save the real fight for later. The peloton continue to splinter under the pressure of the leaders and with three laps remaining the group had lapped the majority of riders in the field. With the lead group still 11-man deep, the spectators flocked to the finish line anticipating an exciting finish.

Still winded from taking his first win in thrilling fashion, Chavarria recalled the last few hundred meters; “Coming out of the final turn, I was sitting about eight wheel and as the group relaxed I made my move shooting out the back”. He added that he knew the sprinters [Cattouse, Pope, Quiroz, and Moriera] would be watching each other so he went early and capitalized on that. With the win, Chavarria closed out the year nicely following teammates Joel Borland who won the King of the Hills in July, and Giovanni Lovell who won the National Road Championship at the end of June.

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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