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Cycling Federation of Belize

2016 Krem New Year’s Classic Start List

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The Official start list for the 2016 Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic was released after 3pm this afternoon with amendments to a preliminary list issued 12 hours earlier. The Belizean public should take pleasure in seeing members of the 2015 Cross Country Podium back in the first peloton of the New Year. Justin Williams is back sans brother Cory Williams after successfully tag teaming the breakaway on Holy Saturday this year. Curiously enough, Williams is riding unattached. He has a big target on his back but the quality of this start list lacks the complexity and power of the peloton from the 2015 Cross Country. Of course, second to Williams in the Cross Country was Scottie Weiss who is also lining up tomorrow. Weiss carried an incredible load in the winning Cross Country breakaway while being outnumbered by the Williams brothers. Additionally, Weiss has won the New Year’s Classic before in 2006. He will be joined by teammate John DeLong who finished sixth in the 2015 edition of this event. Weiss and DeLong have as many miles on Belizean roads as some Belizean riders in this peloton and are definitely being watched closely. David Henderson Jr of SMART Zoom is riding on a six man team featuring Darnell Barrow, Kent Gabb, Mark Staine, Henry Moreira and Herman Requena. The latter two teammates, no doubt, have podium ambitions. Moreira has finished in the top ten before and Requena just missed the podium in 2014 after being part of a successful five –man breakaway that netted Byron Pope of Benny’s the victory.

Benny’s Megabytes returns with a four man team. The team with the biggest roster is Belmopan DigiCell 4G with 9 riders. The wildcard team is Westrac Alliance that features 2014 Road Champion Nissan Arana and promising U23 rider Keion Robateau. If there was a team that could make moves for the attractive $1,000 stations prizes, of which there are five, Westrac Alliance is it.

Noteable absences include Ron Vasquez, who finished 3rd in 2015 and his brother Shane Vasquez who has won this race in 2007 and made the podium multiple times. Other noteworthy absences include Marlon Castillo who is out for personal reasons and Geovanni Choto who is out due to injury. Also out is Oscar Quiroz who rode was a teammate of the Vasquez brothers on Western Spirit in 2015. With no Santino’s, Jeoavin Leslie is also out. That represents a significant decline in fire power from the local rider pool.

The overall size of the field is also reduced. The 2015 start list featured 82 riders; 68 Belizeans, 3 from the USA, and 11 Mexicans, inclusive of the winner Hector Hugo Rangel. This year the Belizeans total 52 (including Justin Williams), the American total 3 again and the Mexicans total 7. 1 rider from Guyana brings the total to 63. With the new regulations governing foreign riders, Mexican participation is limited to border towns only. The president of the Federation had previously indicated that numerous invitations were sent out to other possible Central American and Caribbean participants. The adjustments, apparently, will take some time to mature. The lingering debate on the benefits of the new regulations will now continue as we go through this transition year. But for now, the weather is hot, the wind is blowing, we’re unsure if it’s Easter of New Year’s. Combine that with some pretty decent primes and you got yourself a race worth tuning in to.

 

Click here for Official Start List

About Isaac Rhys

Isaac Rhys is the Managing Editor at cyclebiz.com. Based in the Belize, he started Cyclebiz in 2015 intent on attracting more attention to local bike races and its participants.

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