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Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2017. 8:33 a.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: The 89th Edition of the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic kicks off on Holy Saturday, April 15 at 6 a.m.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the race:
- The race began in April of 1928, when Belizean Monrad Metzgen noticed the amount of bicycles people use to attend cricket games in Northern Belize. He proposed a cycling “expedition” to El Cayo. At the time, the road was a rough trail. The Governor, Sir John Burdon immediately pledged his support and offered a cup as a prize to the winner.
- The winner of the first race was Belizean Elston Kerr.
- The only cyclist to have won three consecutive cross country races was cyclist Aston Gill.
- Jeffrey O’Brien, known to be the best sprinter won the Cross Country in 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955—all in a sprint finish and took second place in 1953.
- Many of the trailblazers of the history of the sport are the fathers and grandfathers of some of our present day distinguished cyclists.
- The annual one day sporting event is organized by the Cycling Federation of Belize (formerly Belize and British Honduras Cycling Association).
- The race begins at 6:00 a.m. every year on Holy Saturday in Belize City. Cyclists ride to San Ignacio town and back to Belize City in a grueling 144 mile ride.
- The participation of the race is limited to amateur cyclists from any country.
- In addition to prizes awarded to first, second and third place at the end of the race, businesses give station prizes along the highway.
- Thousands of Belizeans line up along the George Price Highway to watch the race.
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