Belize’s Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
In Belize, Easter is celebrated with family and friends over an extended weekend as everyone looks forward to one of the year’s favorite sporting events, the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic!
The race leaves Belize City early Holy Saturday morning as cyclists head to San Ignacio and return to Belize City for the finale. It is a very competitive event that attracts national and international talent from all over Central, South and North America.
The total distance covered is 140 glorious miles winding through savannas, the tropical rainforest, and many steep hills near the Maya mountains.
Origin of the race
The Cycling Classic’s origins can be traced back to Monrad Metzgen, an exemplary Belizean Public Servant who served in government as an Internal Revenue Officer, District Commissioner of Orange Walk and Stann Creek, Treasury Superintendent and board member of the Belize Electricity Board and Belize Town Board among other Boards and Committees.
Monrad Metzgen also served as 2nd lieutenant and captain in the Territorial Army of British Honduras.
Metzgen’s Sporting Legacy arises in 1928 as he observes numerous cyclists traveling on the road and decides to challenge them with an expedition-like race. He then gathers a group of notable individuals from a bank, public hospital, church, medical clinic and lands department to help sponsor the event and then joined by the Governor, Superintendent of Police and others to give further vigor to the event.
The 84th Annual Race – Western Spirit Team wins for the second time!
This year’s Cycling Classic was particularly special because Belize’s Giovanni Choto, who rides for the Western Spirit Team won the race.
Chaa Creek is one of the long term sponsors of Western Spirit and we are proud to congratulate Giovanni Choto for placing 1st in this very challenging race.
So far, two members of the Western Spirit Team have won the Race; Shane Vasquez back in 2006 and now Giovanni Choto.
Western Spirit is a locally sponsored team who showed exceptional skill and stamina as they dominated this year’s race. The Western Spirit riders performed brilliantly together; they challenged all the other teams and made the race exhilarating to watch.
Giovanni Choto and the Western Spirit team will train harder for next year’s Cross Country Cycling Classic to continue to make Belize proud.