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Oct 21, 2013

Belizean Cyclist Byron Pope qualifies for upcoming Central America and Caribbean Games

Byron Pope

Byron Pope, a seasoned rider on the local cycling front, has qualified to participate in the upcoming 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, following a recent competition in Curacao where he placed tenth.  Pope, along with a delegation from Belize, including Nissan Arana, David Henderson Jr., Joel Borland and Robert Stewart, took part in the Individual Time Trial and Road Race.  In the female category Shalini Zabaneh and Kerah Eiley, who finished tenth and twelfth respectively, also rode in the competition.  News Five spoke with Pope and cycling official Perry Gibson upon their return to Belize this afternoon.

 

Byron Pope, Belizean Cyclist

“It’s the thirteenth Caribbean Cycling Championship that the Belize selection attended and I placed 10th place in the open elite race which is a qualifier to move on to the next event for the Central American and Caribbean Games in Vera Cruz Mexico in November.”

 

Reporter

“What was that experience like being able to ride alongside all these other big names in regional cycling?”

 

Byron Pope

“Well it was a good experience for me and I have a little experience racing with those guys already so I just took the race as a race similar in Belize but the level was a little bit higher and I just used my little experience to try to maneuver myself around in the pelathon and to try to get the qualifying spot to move on to the other event because that was the main purpose of the trip.”

 

Reporter

“What was the preparation like here and in Curacao?”

 

Byron Pope

“Well the preparation for us, in Belize it has been good because it is our new season starting for us in January. So we are already preparing ourselves for Belize’s season, so we just added in some interval workouts and speed workouts so we could have because the race was a lot of speed. And we just tried to do what we could have done to make that qualifying spot. That was the main goal noh.”

 

Reporter

“Now placing tenth among all these other elite riders and everything, do you feel as if though we were successfully able to match up along with them? I know you qualified, but do you feel as though Belize is up there with these guys?”

 

Byron Pope

“Yes Belize is up there with these guys, but we see where we could do much better if we have a proper program and be together at longer times. I think we can do much better there and could have won the race.”

 

Perry Gibson

Perry Gibson, Official, Belize Cycling Association

“This was the biggest event that they’ve had in terms of numbers and participation. it was twenty-two countries I believe and in the male event was a hundred races—so it was a very large field and a very quality field too because we had some professionals there too. It made for a very interesting race.”

 

Reporter

“In terms of some of the improvements that need to be made, what do you foresee that our riders can tighten up on and practice to be better at going into the future games?”

 

Perry Gibson

“You know for the most part, a lot of our guys when they train, do the distances and stuff. It’s the little things; the additional speed work… In preparation for this event, as part of the team, what we were doing was a lot of intervals, specialized training and individual motor pacing behind the motorcycle at thirty thirty-plus miles an hour to get them accustomed to the speed in these races and that helped because these guys said they felt much better in the event.”

 

The 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games are scheduled to take place in Veracruz, Mexico.

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2 Responses for “Belizean Cyclist Byron Pope qualifies for upcoming Central America and Caribbean Games”

  1. cayobway says:

    why do they only send rider from belize city? what happen to the better riders from the west? this is why dion wanted to be the president so they can exclude the district riders from international competition. with them it is all about the city, and we all know that the districts are always better.

  2. Gary says:

    Why can’t all our cyclist train like that on a regular basis in order to up the level of the sport in our country all together

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