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Bermudian Caitlan Conyers wins 32nd Women Cross Country

BELIZE CITY, Sat. April 1, 2023

Bermudian elite and world ranked cyclist Caitlan Conyers won the 32nd Puma Women Cross Country Cycling Classic in a time of 3 hours, 49 minutes and 24 seconds despite being knocked out of the race for several minutes while her Belizean service team struggled to replace a rear flat half hour after the race started in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District.

Conyers and a field of 10 competitors, 4 Belizeans and 6 foreigners, started out after a speech by Mayor Earl Trapp in the western twin towns and soon trailed Kedisha Francis, a novice and mother of 4 who led the group until Georgeville.

Within 5 minutes of the start, a spill almost wiped out Paulita Chavarria and American Marianna Valadez on a borrowed bike. Both would resume racing, but Chavarria, the youngest competitor and one of two sisters in the race, would finish in 4:25:33, outside of the official time limit, whilst Valadez would be forced to drop out of the competition a few miles later because of a badly damaged bike.

Caitlin Conyers would begin to dominate the lead until she had to contend with a flat near Camalote Village and trailed the then leader Mexican Diana Valaria Rodriquez who led the race for nearly 30 miles before being caught. Rodriquez would finish second.

Defending champion America Katy Sorrell finished third, and Belizean Kaya Cattouse finished fourth.

Veteran American cyclist Jessica Chong took fifth, Belizean Patricia Chavarria edged Mexican Ana Laura Garcia for sixth, and Kedisha Francis eighth, rounding out the finish.

Conyers won almost BZ$10,000 in cash and in-kind station prizes making it one of the most lucrative female races in Belize’s history.

Kaya Cattouse, who has dominated Belizean female cycling the past several years, won a $1,000 cash for being the first Belizean cyclist across the finish line.

CFB Official finishers were: 1st BER Catilin Conyers (Winners Edge, 03:49:24); 2nd MEX Diana Valeria Rodriguez (Navecomp, 03:51:50); 3rd USA Katy Sorrell (Cardinals, 03:51:50); 4th BIZ Kaya Cattouse (LA Sweat, 03:51:50); 5th USA Jessica Chong (Bike Works P/B Fred Beans, 03:51:50); 6th BIZ Patricia Chavarria (Unattached, 03:51:50); 7th MEX Ana Laura Garcia (Navecomp, 03:52:08); and 8th BIZ Kedisha Francis (Unattached, 03:58:30).

Finishing outside the 30-minute time limit after the champion was BIZ Paulita Chavarria (Team Gonz, 04:25:33). And one rider, MEX Mariana Valadez (LA Sweat) did not finish the race.