Belize Cross Country Classic UCI Race: By Cory Williams

My trip to Belize was awesome! I have been planning on doing the Cross Country Classic UCI race ever since I started racing. My dad who was born and raised in Belize has been top 5 at the event and my older brother Justin was 4th last year. I have never raced in Belize before, so there was a lot of pressure on me to perform in front of my family and the country’s cycling association.

The first day I got there I went out for a ride on the road the race takes place on. The road was bumpy but fast and there was not much around to protect you from the wind. The race was 144 miles long with 3,000-4,000 feet of climbing in the race. I went to the event with teammate David Santos, my brother Justin and our dad, as well as Rahsaan Bahati.

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On race day my whole family showed up to show their support for one of the biggest events in the country. As the race started, people began going crazy because of all the station prizes put together by different communities along the way which included a cow and a refrigerator. I didn’t expect the race to start out so hard! We averaged around 30mph for the first hour with attacks going left and right. I didn’t let any of it change my plan. The plan was chill for the first 60 miles and let the early break go and chase it on the way back since the course was an out and back design. On the return, everyone started chasing and we were bringing the break back but then with 40 miles to go, there was a big crash in the front of the race taking 20 of the 35 guys out and eliminating the chase.

 

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Unfortunately my dad, my brother and Rahsaan crashed and I was left alone as Santos was up the road in the break of 5 riders. With 15 miles to go, I got into a 3 man break only to be caught with 6 miles to go. I took a deep breath and just waited for the sprint. With a mile and a half to the finish, someone took a flyer and the Belize National Champion jumped to chase and I was right on him. With 1k to go, I attacked the group holding it all the way to the line for 11th place. The race was a great experience and I was happy to share it with one of my teammates David Santos who ended up 5th in the race.

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Thank you KHS, Maxxis, JAKROO Custom Apparel, Shimano, Serfas, Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project, IRT Wheels, Xpedo, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Rennie & Associates, Q2, Bike Religion, Chamois Butter, WD-40 Bike, Bicycle Blue Book and the Management of IPA sports.

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