Annual September Criterium Attracts Cyclists to Belize City Streets
The Belize Tourism Board and the Belize Cycling Federation teamed up this weekend to hold the annual September Criterium. Around a hundred cyclists gathered on Regent Street on Sunday for nine races in several divisions ranging from kids to elites. Cyclists rode or a set number of laps starting from in front of the BTB headquarters on Regent Street, turned onto Albert Street and back onto Regent Street. The distance of each lap was just under one mile. Allan Auil, General Secretary for the Cycling Association of Belize, spoke to Love News about the race’s rich history, and its place in the September celebrations.
Alan Awil, General Secretary, Cycling Federation of Belize: “You know this is a traditional event in cycling. You know, in Belize the September celebration time, we have had a criterium event for donkey’s years, really from since the late 1980s. It began as a Santino’s classic out here on Albert and Regent Street and we’ve held the tradition until today. It continues, no? So back then it used to be called the Santino’s Classic because Santi used to be the one sponsoring. Now we know it as the September Criterium Classics and we’ve moved the event in different years. We’ve had it out on Princess Margaret Drive, we’ve had it on Marine Parade, but the traditional area was always Albert and Regent Street. We’re glad to be back here on Albert and Regent Street. I think the times when we had moved it was when Albert Street was all broken up with potholes and maybe Regent Street was worse than that. So ever since it’s been paved properly, smooth road, we’ve come back here. This is the rightful place.”
The women’s category only had three participants, with Kaya Cattouse placing first, Kedisha Francis Second and Maya Bennett third. First place in the Men’s Elite category was Oscar Quiroz, followed by Jyven Gonzalez and Giovanni Lovell. The top three cyclists in the Masters category were Brandon Cattouse Kenroy Gladden and Kent Gabourel.