CARACAS. In the 53rd edition of the Vuelta al Táchira en Bicicleta, which starts this Friday with seven foreign teams, a new confrontation between Venezuelan and Colombian cyclists is predicted, the most winners of this hard Andean turn.

The 10 stages and 1,445.2 kilometers that separate the winner of the Venezuelan reign will start tomorrow in Bramón, with a route that will end in Santa Bárbara, a town in the Llanera state of Barinas.

The coffee delegation has already installed in San Cristóbal, located 811 kilometers from Caracas, the JB Ropa Deportiva and GW-Shimano teams, the latter with an UCI continental license.

The GW-Shimano, directed by Víctor Hugo Peña, has among its ranks the experienced José Serpa, a runner who knows the test and who in the Andean round of 2006 came second.

The addition of Serpa - who got off Supergiros - full of confidence to Peña, who foresees a good performance of his squad against the "big competitors" Venezuelan.

Meanwhile, the JB arrives at the competition with a team prepared for the mountain stages, and with climber Kevin Sepulveda as maximum figure, according to Efe Julio Bernal, the team's sporting director.

In addition to these two teams, Colombia will be represented by cyclists from the Trepa Bikes and Hernán Buenahora Foundation teams.

The Colombian runners have won 18 editions of the king's turn of Venezuela, but they have not added a new title since 2007, when the Santander rider Hernán Buenahora did it.

The Cuban National Team and the Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec teams from Italy and Esparza Training from Mexico complete the list of foreign teams.

The Venezuelans, winners of nine of the last ten laps, will have runners Jonathan Salinas and Yimmi Briceño, of the Lotería del Táchira team, one of the strongest in the country and the oldest in the Americas.

In addition, the Venezuelan squad Kino Táchira is also running for the title, with a roster that includes runners Edwin Becerra, Daniel Abreu, Nelson Camargo and Kemir Matheus.

The Vuelta al Táchira will run between January 12 and 21 and end with a 115-kilometer circuit in San Cristóbal. (EFE)


1st stage, January 12: Concafe - Santa Bárbara de Barinas / 182.6 Km.
2nd stage, January 13: Suripá - San Cristóbal - Borotá / 173 Km.
3rd stage, January 14: Circuit S / C (5th Av.-7th Av.) - Táriba / 147 Km.
4th stage, January 15: Colon - Coloncito - San Simón / 151 Km.
5th stage, January 16: La Fría - Tovar / 146.1 Km.
6th stage, January 17: Santa Cruz de Mora - La Grita / 167.9 Km.
7th stage, January 18: Umuquena - Michelena / 114.4 Km.
8th stage, January 19: Circuit in Rubio / 125 Km.
9th stage, January 20: Ureña - San Antonio (Circuit) - Cerro Cristo Rey / 123.2 Km.
10th stage, January 21: Circuit Avenida España - Av. 19 de Abril / 115 Km.