Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2021. 5:27 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Oscar Quiroz, who won the last Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic in 2020, will be defending his crown on Saturday, January 1, 2022, in the 31st edition.
This year’s race will feature mostly Belizean riders. The one foreign rider who is already here is Jamaican-American Anthony Taylor, who has been riding races here for umpteen years.
Quiroz, who now rides for 501 Valvoline Cycling Team, won the 2020 96-mile race on the Philip Goldson Highway, in three hours, 49 minutes, and two seconds (3:49:02). Quiroz slashed American John Delong’s 2019 time of 3:52:23 by 3 minutes and 21 seconds.
Joslyn Chavarria Jr was second and Richard Santiago 3rd. Delong was fourth, Angel Tzib was fifth, and 2018 winner Giovanni Lovell was 6th.
The race runs from the Northern border at Santa Elena to Belize City.
In 2019, an 11-man group broke away at the start before Corozal Town. Both Chavarria and Santiago were out front coming toward Belize City. Quiroz caught them outside of Ladyville and crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of Chavarria and seven ahead of Santiago. Delong rode up 1:01 behind, followed by Tzib (+1:10) and Lovell (+1:15).
Taylor was the Masters’ winner in 3:50:21 and American Clayton Travis the top U-23 rider in 3:50:25.
This year, Quiroz has been preparing well with international races under his belt, but several other riders have been doing the same.
In 2020, Alicia Thompson won the 52-mile Women’s Race from Orange Walk to Belize City in 2:52:18 ahead of Nicole Gallego who clocked at the same time. The then defending champion Kaya Cattouse did not race.
Jyven Gonzalez won the 52-mile Junior Race in 2:27:49 over Mairon Muñoz who had the same time.
The 31st KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic is organized by KREM Radio under the regulations of the International Cycling Union and the Cycling Federation of Belize (CFB).
The Open Elite, U-23, and Masters’ race will start from the Belize/Mexico Border at 9:00 am.
The Women and Junior/Youth will start in front of the Town Hall in Orange Walk Town at 9:30 am and 9:35 am respectively.
The three races finish at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Mahogany Street in Belize City.
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