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Krem Classic 2016: Junior Category Preview

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On Friday 1st January 2016, there will be a new Junior Champion in the Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic. 2015 winner Yan Cattouse has aged out of the category but snagged two out of three from the unofficial Belizean cycling trifecta of Krem Classic, Cross Country and National Road Championships. Cattouse won the National Junior Road Championship in June 2015. The most dominant junior team in 2015 after January was undoubtedly the SMART Zoom that featured Darien Anderson, Patrick Williams, Ernest Bradley and Kaydine Pinelo. Pinelo gave them their first taste of victory in the Belmopan Classic setting a new record of 3:02:06. They went on to sweep the podium in the Junior Cross Country Classic with Bradley, Anderson and Pinelo, in that order. Patrick Williams is the National ITT Champ. Bradley was second to Cattouse in the National Road Championships. Bradley and Anderson were 1-2 in the King of the Hills. Williams and Anderson were 2-3 in the TV Ramos Classic and Anderson and Bradley were 1-2 in the Pre-Xmas Classic.

Fast forward to today and that team is no more. After an internal disagreement towards the end of the year, SMART retained Ernest Bradley and Kaydine Pinelo while Darien Anderson and Patrick Williams are now part the newly formed WKC Strikers. Anderson and Williams are joined by Damian Usher, Shaquir Tillett, Kevaughn Cacho, Jeshaun Fraser and Sherwin Requena. The SMART/WKC matchup is, no doubt, is the leading story line going into Friday’s junior event. Anderson and Bradley are among the favorites or perhaps are the favorites for the top two podium spots coming in. To Anderson’s benefit, he has a full team with a strong supporting cast, but Bradley, and more so Pinelo, have proven that they can go off the front for long solo runs. Such a feat would give SMART the best possibility of winning.

There are, of course, other teams participating in this race and two very capable teams are Cabral/Marin and Westrac Alliance. Cabral/Marin features Anthony Marin who finished third in the 2015 edition of this New Year’s Classic. He is flanked by Juhawi Nashen Ysaguirre who has been the team’s strongest rider in the second half of the year and Brian Sutherland who also put up strong performances in November and December. Other riders filling out the team are Gian Lino, Andre Belisle and Trajan Humes. Marin and Sutherland are critical members of the team and they tend to struggle where inclines are featured but this course is flat and should enable a solid outing for Cabral/Marin.

Westrac Alliance features Shaun Codd, Anthony Lewis Jr, Jevaunne Requena, Devin Azueta and Jalen Castillo. Noticeably absent from their roster is Shane Jones who, like Yan Cattouse, has aged out and will be riding the U23 category in 2016. In 2015, Jones won the Valentine Mini Tour, and was third in the National Road Championships as well as the King of The Hills. Shaun Codd was second in the 2015 Belmopan Classic and third in the Belize City September Criterium. He also made the podium in the Youth sub-category in the Valentin Mini Tour, Junior Cross Country, Labor Day Classic, National ITT and Road Championships. Generally, this team has solid representatives but their cohesion draws a question mark. Even so, they are geared to capitalize on any faults of the favorites.

Other teams include Chavarria Cycling Club, newcomers Big Shep Cycling Club and start line natives Mando’s Cycling Team featuring Michael Grajalez who has performed well in 2015, and topped the Youth sub-category in 2014.

The stage is set for an animated junior edition of the Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic. New year, new kits, new rivalries and definitely a new Junior Champion.

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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