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Cycle Tour of Cuba Expects New Champ
Perez, winner of the Cuban tour in 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2008, and now absent from the 2009 edition opens a great space for aspirants to the crown, and this could give more expectation to the tour.

Only Cuban pedalist Damián Martínez (2005), Italian Filipo Pozatto (2002), US athlete Todd Herriot (2003) and Canadian Svein Tuff (2007) could dominate the tour besides Perez. Cuban Eduardo Alonso, who has six titles (1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990) classifies as the second most victorious. Sergio “Pipián” Martínez (deceased, four titles) and Carlos Cardet and Aldo Arencibia -three tiltles each- are placed behind.

For the 34th edition, local expectation is resting on Arnold Alcolea, Raúl Granjel, Yasmani Martínez and Yennier López, all of them members of the Cuban national team.

Pedalists coming from Italy, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela, together with German team Saxonia, Italian Cinelli, Canadian Planet Energy and Mexican Tecos Trek, are forming the foreign representations.

Organizer Hector Marcos added that the representations of Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador and Antigua and Barbuda are pendent, the Havana Sports and Physical Education Institute will also be represented, and 11 of the 14 Cuban provinces, too.

The competition will be of 1,800 kilometers (1,118.5 miles) in 13 stages, with predominance of flat stages and four mountain awards. The longest stage will be the one between Holguin and Camaguey (128 miles).

Last year, Cuba won the first place by teams and Venezuela was the best foreign team, with the 3rd place.

Venezuelan Jose Chacon was the most outstanding foreigner (6th place) and Colombian Gregorio Ladino (Tecos) was the winner of the mountain award.

(Juventud Rebelde)

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