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SMART Zoom Dominates Junior Cross Country

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SMART Zoom Dominates Junior Cross Country

Ernest Bradley of SMART Zoom Junior Cycling Team unassumingly rolled across the finish line in front of Leslie’s Imports at the entrance of Belize City to take the 16th Annual Junior Cross Country Classic and break the two year old race record by 00:03:48. His time of 03:30:52 was enough to unseat Zamir Guerra as the Junior Cross Country record holder. Bradley assumed the role of anchor in a SMART Zoom four man relay team that seemed to pass control of the race from one rider to another, dominating from start to finish.

Patrick Williams started SMART Zoom’s dominance by testing the peloton early in the race with short attack, but the real test was the second attack by Darien Anderson. After taking a station prize atop the climb leading down into Unitedville, Anderson looked back and no one followed. “I thought I could make it and I continue to pace myself but I knew the guys would chase and get me back” recalled Anderson. Anderson was joined by Shaquir Tillett, of Team POLICE, who was the only rider willing to set chase. The duo worked in tandem to hold off the peloton swinging over and under forty seconds all the way to the Belmopan City cut-off. With just over forty miles to go, Tillett was unable to keep up the pace and Anderson set out on his own and opened a gap of 01:45 just after the Belize Zoo by mile 29. Anderson would not be caught for another thirteen miles when the peloton swallowed him at the entrance of Hattieville. “I just got really exhausted and the breeze was kicking up and the guys just caught me”, admitted Anderson.

At Hattieville, the baton was passed to Bradley and the 16 year old Bradley, escaped from the peloton on a counter attack after an attack from Team POLICE, never to be caught again. His teammate Kaydine Pinelo, who was also a top contender coming in, made a similar solo run to the finish in the Belmopan Classic. Pinelo said they were riding for Darien today but admitted they had Williams and Bradley as plan B. When Bradley made the move they agreed to control the peloton and that was it. Team Manager Michael Williams recounted the final stages; “Well, when I saw Mr. Bradley take that lead and the lead blossoming from 1 minute to 2 minutes and change, I said well, we have it, it’s in the bag. A victory for us all the way”. Every race has its own set of circumstances but Williams said that Bradley’s run was not by accident. “We sent him out because we knew nobody would get up and go behind him and once he open a lead we knew nobody would catch him again. So everyone thought he was a decoy but he was the real deal”, explained Williams.

JRCC_Smart1Williams summed up by saying, “This was the ultimate goal but everything take a lot of preparation. We had to have the right nutrition, the right mechanics to get the bikes in shape, everybody well rested and ready to go”.

After Bradley, Anderson and Pinelo, set up by an early move from Patrick Williams, rode away from the ensuing peloton to finish 2nd and 3rd, completing a SMART Zoom podium. Williams finished 9th overall and 2nd in the Youth Category securing hardware for all members of the four man team.

The top five was rounded out by Anthony Marin of Cabral/Marin and Yan Cattouse of C-Ray Cycling who finished 4th and 5th, respectively.

Below is the list of the top finishers. For the complete list, click here.

  1. Ernest Bradley, SMART Zoom
  2. Darien Anderson, SMART Zoom
  3. Kaydine Pinelo, SMART Zoom
  4. Anthony Marin, Cabral/Marin
  5. Yan Cattouse, C-Ray Cycling
  6. Brian Sutherland, Cabral/Marin
  7. Shane Jones, Chavarria Cycling
  8. Kory Ingram, Team POLICE
  9. Patrick Williams, SMART Zoom
  10. Michael Grajalez, Mando’s Cycling

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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