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Belize Heads to Caribbean Jr Cycling Championship


Belize is going back to the Junior Caribbean Cycling Champions. The two-day event is scheduled to take place in St. Lucia on July 30th and 31st with the individual time trial on the first day followed by the road race on day two. Back in early May when the Tour of Belize was postponed, the federation had confirmed their intention to field teams in both the Junior and Elite versions of the Caribbean Championships this year. Last October, Joslyn Chavarria Jr did Belize proud by making the U23 podium in the Barbados.

While we have not been able to confirm technical details of the pending junior championships, Cyril Mangal, President of the St Lucia Cycling Association, has issued the following;

The Championships is open to three categories Juveniles or Cadet (born in the year 2000 to 2001), Junior Boys (1998 to 1999) and Junior Girls (1998 to 2001). A maximum of three riders per country are allowed in each category.

The Individual time Trial will be as follows:

Saturday July 30th 2016 3.00pm 10km Time Trial 15/18 for Girls
Saturday July 30th 2016 3.30pm 10km Individual Time Trial boys’ 15/16years
Saturday July 30th 2016 4.15pm 20km Individual Time Trial 17/18 years’ men
Saturday July 30th 2016 5.30 pm medal presentation

Road Race will be as follows:
Sunday July 31st 2016 8.00am 50km Road Race 15 to 18 year Girls two podiums
Sunday July 31st 2016 10.30am 62km Road Race 15 to 16 years Boys
Sunday July 31st 2016 2.00pm 100km Road Race men 17 to 18 year.
Sunday July 31st 2016 6.00pm Medal presentation.

What about the team? CFB Vice President, Orson Butler, confirmed that they intend to take a six man contingent consisting of three junior and three youth riders. The selected riders were listed in an early morning release today from the federation, pending the resolution of travel documents. The youth category includes the 2016 National ITT champ, Patrick Williams of WKC Strikers, 2016 National Road Champ, Shaun Codd of Belize Youth Club and 2016 Youth Cross Country Champ Gian Lino of Cabral/Marin as firm choices. This trio, undoubtedly, represents the best of the youth category in 2016.

L-R Gian Lino, Patrick Williams, Shaun Codd

With more options in the junior category, the selection process there may not be so clear-cut. The federation, however, went with the obvious front-runners being the SMART duo of Kaydine Pinelo and Ernest Bradley. This year, Bradley took the Krem Classic, Valentine Classic and the Tour of Belize, while Pinelo took top honors in the Belmopan Classic, Junior Cross Country and the National ITT Championships. The third spot was filled by Ernest Banner of Big Shep Cycling while the alternates listed were Nashen Ysaguirre of Cabral/Marin and Darien Anderson of WKC Strikers. Banner is fourth (132pts) in our unofficial points ranking for 2016 behind Pinelo (214), Codd (175) and Bradley (162). Banner is also the National Junior Road Champion for 2016. Ysaguirre started the year strong and faded in the middle but recently performed well in the National Road Championships. Anderson has had a disappointing year, by his standards, but remains one of the strongest and more experienced riders in the junior peloton. j_selection

L-R Kaydine Pinelo, Ernest Banner, Juhawi Nashen Ysaguirre

While these riders seem to be the leading candidates, must submit honorable mentions for Brian Sutherland and Andre Belisle of Cabral/Marin who have performed beyond expectations this year and are both in our top ten point standings along with teammates Nashen Ysaguirre and Gian Lino.

Considerations in the selection process, according to Butler of the CFB, included, among other things, point standings, current form, attitude and skill set best suited for a team configuration. He also mentioned that Belize will field 1 rider in the junior and 1 rider in the youth category for the ITT, while the all riders will take part in the road race. The obvious ITT hopes rest on the shoulders of Patrick Williams who has consistently performed at the top of the discipline.

There are high hopes for the Belizean athletes even though Belize has not been to the junior championships since 2012. That year, a three man squad consisting of Oscar Quiroz Jr, Aiden Juan and Zahir Figueroa did well at the races held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Quiroz and Figueroa won silver medals in the junior and youth ITT, respectively.

j_selection_2012Photo: Zahir Figueroa (left)

Juan reportedly finished 9th in the road race and Quiroz recalled getting a flat that he was unable to recover from. Retroactive congratulations are in order for those riders having performed well, all things considered. Quiroz recalled raising funds to make the trip, but admits that the experience was worth it. Travel for this year’s contingent will be facilitated by the National Olympic Committee.

About Isaac Rhys

Isaac Rhys is the Managing Editor at 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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  1. Emil Figueroa

    July 6, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    In the ITT Zahir Figueroa beaten by 5 seconds. In the road race he punctured in the last lap. Although he was the only. Belizean Youth to participate he managed to catch the peloton and finished in the top 20.

    • Isaac Rhys

      July 6, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks for the input Mr Figueroa