This Sunday, 19 March, the second edition of Bci Challenge Puerto Varas in Chile will take place and the race promises some exciting racing. Both the men’s and women’s races feature a pro field that seems to be fairly evenly matched with perhaps the biggest favourites shaping up to be British athletes, Tom Bishop and Lucy Byram.
Bishop was very strong at Clash Miami last weekend, leading for the majority of the race and looking inimitable on the bike. It looked like he would take the win but in the closing stages he was overtaken by Jason West, leaving him to settle for second place. For sure Bishop has something to put right and now, at Challenge Puerto Varas, he may be even more motivated to win.
Still, Bishop can count on some strong competition in the form of Matt Hanson, Luciano Taccone, Igor Amorelli and Fernando Toldi who will be Bishop’s main challengers. Also racing are local heroes Roberto Rivera, Felipe van de Wyngard, Vicente Trewhela, Martin Ulloa and Nicolás Sáez, among others, so anything can happen during the race.
The same goes for the women’s race, where Lucy Byram seems to be the biggest favourite. She won Clash Miami last week, showing she is in great shape. But, any victory will not come easy. For one, she will face Haley Chura, the inaugural winner of Challenge Puerto Varas who will be eager to retain her title. Also returning is Laura Siddall renowned for her strength and also in with a serious shot at victory. But the Brits will also have local hero, Barbara Riveros to contend with. The Chilean had a strong 2022, placing on the podium at each of her races and she too also has a win under her belt for 2023 at 70.3 Pucon. There are also a number of other local women racing, such as Pamela Tastes, Francisca Garrido, Maca Salazar and Lucita Poblete, who could provide a surprise.