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Benny’s Megabytes Takes Second Major Event

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Belize City, BELIZE

Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes) took the final stage of the CFB DigiCell Valentine Mini Tour earlier today in a sprint finish ahead of Marlon Castillo (Santino’s/Ride To Victory) and Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray Road Addiktzx). Bennys’ Megabytes also took the top spot in the tour as the general classification leader Ignacio Prado rolled in fourth, just behind Cattouse. With this tour win Benny’s Megabytes takes the first two major Federation events of 2015 as they won the Krem New Years Day Cycling Classic with Hector Rangel, also of Mexico. According to team manager Perry Gibson, the strategy going into today’s race was straightforward. “Really we had the overall lead and the approach was to basically maintain that lead by any means possible. So that is how we rode. We rode to preserve that lead and hopefully the get the stage win as well. Fortunately for us both things occurred; we won the stage and should win overall as well.” Gibson accounted.

Brandon Cattouse finished second overall as he settle the day with his five second deficit, to Prado, brought forward from stage 2. Joel Borland (DigiCell 4G) fell from third to eight in the final classification after finishing 4:04 back. Marlon Castillo and Oscar Quiroz (Western Spirit) moved up a spot each to 3rd and 4th, respectively, and stage winner Byron Pope climbed from 9th coming into the day to 5th to round out the top five in the final classification.

Pope recounted the 90 mile stage 3 road race for us.

Words by Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes)

I told the guys in the team van this morning, we’ve come this far and we’re close to securing this win. I reminded them that all we had to do was believe in ourselves, protect our team leader and hopefully we would come out with the stage win as well. When the race started all the teams seemed to be attacking us in the hills, primarily the riders on teams from Cayo. So I told the guys to keep the tempo nice and neat to keep the GC in contention; don’t let anyone get over thirty seconds or a minute plus.

Coming out of Belmopan the wind started to change and that changed the race because that made it a strong guy’s race now. That’s the type of winds I prefer because the weaker guys get dropped off the back and the stronger guys move up to the front. The Cayo riders put up a good fight after Belmopan but they might have been a little burned out by all the early work. At mile 25 we ended up opening a gap of two minutes and that was pretty much the end of the race for them. In the break we had five or six of the strongest riders we have in Belize and the internationals. We had Ignacio Prado, the tour leader, we had Jose Robles [Western Spirit], who is no stranger to Belize, we had Marlon “Diesel” Castillo who is one of the strongest pacers in Belize. We also had Brandon Cattouse, who I would say is the fastest man in the sprints right now. We also had the young upstart Oscar Quiroz who is turning out be a threat in the big races and myself.

At mile 10 I was feeling pretty good after three to four hours on the bike so I told my coach that am going to try and test these guys and see who is still strong and who is not. So at mile 7 I tried my first attack and I saw that the guys were a little bit weak so I waited 2 more miles and did it again. After that I noticed that Brandon, who is the fasted of the guys, wasn’t responding as quick so I thought I could put up a challenge for him in the sprint. Close to end when Marlon jumped and Brandon didn’t I reacted and passed Marlon and said this is a race I’m going to win today.

I loved this tour and I think we should have more events like this. These are the events that Ignacio Prado and Jose Robles and those other foreigners would come to ride here. They usually ride at least two or three small tours like this in preparation so when they come in they are always ready to put up a good fight so I think this is what Belize needs. We can go right into Mexico and ride 3 to 5 day events to get us stronger mentally and physically.

 

Top Ten Finishers

+05:29:21 Ignacio Prado (Benny’s Megabytes)
-00:00:05 Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray Road Addiktzx)
-00:00:14 Marlon Castillo (Santino’s/Ride To Victory)
-00:00:15 Oscar Quiroz (Western Spirit Cycling Team)
-00:00:21 Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes)
-00:00:24 Jose Angel Robles Lopez (Western Spirit Cycling Team)
-00:03:54 Nissan Arana (Predators)
-00:04:04 Joel Borland (DigiCell 4G)
-00:04:06 Ron Vasquez (Western Spirit Cycling Team)
-00:04:10 Darnell Barrow (SMART Zoom)
-00:04:10 Joslyn Chavarria (DigiCell 4G)

 

Download the CFB Final Classification here.

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