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Joslyn Chavarria Jr leads Belizean cyclists in raking San Benito Cycling Classic in Peten, Guatemala

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2023. 11:36 am CST.

Photo Courtesy: Josyln Chavarria Jr

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Josyln Chavarria Jr led Belizean riders in sweep of the top six spots in the 50-mille 3rd San Benito Cycling Classic 2023 in San Benito, Peten, Guatemala on Sunday. The race was cut short after about 25 miles because of heavy weather and prizes were given as per the riders’ positions at the moment the race was stopped.

“We had them out by at least a minute. We didn’t want to stop the race, but the official said ‘We don’t want any of you to get hurt,’” Chavarria said.

“A horrible rain came down flooding the circuit with about six inches of water. The road was really bad, but we were in our rhythm. When Kaydine and I were up front we felt really good.”

Chavarria of Team FAL (Furnished Apartments Limited) took the top honours in 55 minutes and two seconds (00:55:02) in the Elite race, according to organizers Cycling Petén. Chavarria was followed by Kaydine Pinelo of Cano’s Road Rage, though the organizers have him as riding for Team FAL. Pinelo was clocked one second behind Chavarria in 55:03.

Mairon Muñoz of 501 Valvoline Cycling Team (56:02) captured the third position while G-Flow’s Kevin Gentle (56:23) took fourth place.

Team FAL’s Shervin Budna rode in fifth and unattached Belizean rider Shayle Parades rounded the Top Six.

Chavarria said that heavy rains and flooding caused the officials to call off the race at the beginning of the third lap when they had covered about 25 miles.

Guatemalan riders took the next four positions in the Top 10.

Other Belizean riders from Team FAL and Team Cayo also competed in the race.

Belize also took the top three spots in the Masters Race on Sunday. M&M Engineering’s Philip Burns won the race in 58:07. His teammates Roque Matus (58:08) and Mike Wagner (58:09) were second and third. Another M&M Engineering rider, Ryan Willoughby, was fifth. Geoffrey Waight was seventh.

Tyler Tejeda of Rolling Shattaz-BZ Boyz riding under the Team Cayo banner, was second in the Junior race behind Guatemala Kevin Rojas. Rojas was second in the Youth Category of the Belize Junior Cross Country behind Travis Grinage. Belizean Daniel Crammond (unattached) rode in fourth.

On Saturday, Tejeda won the 40-km (25 miles) Mountain Bike Junior race in one hour, 38 minutes and 53 seconds (1:38:53). He won over Guatemalan Jonatan Cus by 02:41.

Matus of M&M Engineering was fifth in the Masters Mountain Bike Race on Saturday with his teammate Willoughby finishing eighth.

Definitely a good day for Belizean cycling in Petén. Not surprising considering Belizean riders have been crossing the border to train on the road from Melchor de Mencos to Flores. That road is more demanding than any of our roads in that it has higher and more continuous climbs and curves, and though the weekend races weren’t ridden there, our riders are getting accustomed to the territory.


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