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Valentine Tour Stages 2016

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Late yesterday evening, the Cycling Federation of Belize announced the particulars of the 2016 Valentine Tour scheduled for February 11 – 14. Last year the DigiCell sponsored event featured three stages, a prologue and Criterium in the morning and evening respectively on February 21 followed by a road race on February 22.

The schedule for this year’s version of the tour is as follows;

ELITE MEN
Thursday February 11, 2016 – 6:00am
Stage 1 – Road Race (40miles)
Leslie’s Import (Belize City) – Mile 21 – Leslie’s Import (Belize City)

Friday February 12, 2016 – 6:00am
Stage 2 – Road Race (50miles)
Leslie’s Import (Belize City) – Boom Road Data Pro – Leslie’s Import (Belize City)

Saturday February 13, 2016 – 6:30am
Stage 3 – ITT (12 miles)
CD’s – 6mls up Boom Road – CD’s

Saturday February 13, 2016 – 3:00pm
Stage 4 – Belmopan Circuit Race (0.93 miles)
Zennia Street – Royal Palm Blvd- Mandarine Street
Elite 35 laps (32.5 miles)

Sunday February 14, 2016 – 9:00am
Stage 5 – Road Race
San Ignacio Hotel (Cayo) – Benque Border (Cayo) – Leslie’s Imports (Belize City) [90 miles]

The Junior Men and Elite Women Category will take part in their traditional Valentine Classic on Sunday February 14, 2016.

Sunday February 14, 2016 – 9:30am

JUNIOR MEN
Central Farm (Cayo District) to Leslie’s Imports (Belize City) [63 miles]

ELITE WOMEN
Roaring Creek (Cayo District) to Leslie’s Imports (Belize City) [47miles]

In 2015, all three categories participated in all three stages. According to the Cycling Federation of Belize the reason is clear. They contend that on their 2016 Calendar of Events, the Elite Women and Junior Men will be having their own tours in May. CFB Vice President, Orson Butler, added that it is part of the federation’s commitment to having more races for all categories. He explained that more races will better prepare our athletes for international competition, and that this tour now will also go a long way in the riders’ preparation for the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic in March. However, the women and junior cross country events both take place before the Holy Saturday event for elite men. The federation insists that the preparation of the elite men for Holy Saturday is more pressing considering the international competition in that race as opposed to the junior and women editions. Not to discount the women and boys, the CFB also insists that their tours will prepare them later on for international competition outside of Belize in which they intend to field teams in both categories this year.

As for international participation in this tour all indications are that it will be similar to the Krem New Year’s Day Classic. Yapurland from Mexico intends to return but their roster has not been settled as yet. Manuel Serrano and Andres Solis are among the possible riders joining Juan Manuel Yapur to form a four man team. Yapurland had two top ten finishers in the New Year’s Race with Joan Valencia and Juan Manuel Yapur finishing fifth and seventh respectively. US team Startlight may also have two members present for the tour; possibly former Cross Country Champ Chris Harkey along with David Flynn.

Last year’s 3-day event was won by Mexican Ignacio Prado riding at that time for Benny’s Megabytes Cycling Team. We’ll keep an eye out for the starting list and check in on some teams leading up to February 11.

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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