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Valentine Tour Lessons

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For the second year in a row the Valentine Tour was won by a Mexican rider. This year it was Juan Manuel Yapur and in 2015 it was Ignacio Prado.

This is only one of two tours on the CFB calendar; therefore our Belizean riders are very limited in tour riding experience. This is also the first year that Belizean teams are limited to Belizean riders only so we are still working out the pecking order of riders. We must learn that riding in the classics is different from riding in a tour. Different riders are also better suited for different types of races.

Both tours [2015 & 2016] were won by time gained in the individual time trial so obviously the CFB and the Belizean cyclist need to work on time trialing. The time trial is one cycling skill that you can see gains from working at it, quite early in ITT races and in your pacing skills during road races. The time trial works on your riding form, strength and threshold limits.

We also need to work on race tactics as tour racing employs different strategies than classics. In the final stage of this tour, the race leader had 48 seconds on the sixth place rider and only 9 seconds on the second place rider. He had only one teammate and was down over 3 minutes and came back to win the tour without doing any chasing himself. We should never have allowed that to happen. This shows lack of tour racing and race scenario preparations. We also need more coaching courses here in Belize.

That being said, I always have to look at the positive side of things. Thanks to the CFB for having the tour. It was good to see new faces starting to come to the front such as Tarique Flowers of Benny’s Megabytes, Tarique Cano of Team Smart, Ron McKenzie of Westrac Alliance, Keion Robateau of Westrac Alliance and a few more up and coming riders, who had good rides. The 5 stages of racing also covered quite a bit of race miles which is essential to preparing for the Cross Country Classic.

Our main hopefuls for the Cross Country Classic also looked good in their preparation for that Classic; riders like Joel Borland, Brandon Cattouse, Byron Pope and Nissan Arana, just to name a few.

We need to win this Tour. Hopefully next year.

God Bless

About Stephen Bisset

Steven Bisset is a contributor to viewpoint on cyclebiz.com. He is a full time cycling fan and a part time pedal smasher with the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club.

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