Mayho outduels Oliveira
Dominique Mayho may have called an end to his international aspirations at the end of last year, but in the Winners Edge Road Race yesterday he clearly showed that he is still the man to beat on local roads after outsprinting Matthew Oliviera in the A category race of the Bermuda Bicycle Association’s season opener.
In tough windy conditions, the race started and finished on Kindley Field Road and took the riders west on North Shore Road to Barkers Hill roundabout and back for three punishing laps for a total of 46 miles. It was not long before the attacks started with Mayho’s VT Construction team-mate Steve Smith testing the riders first. He was quickly countered though by Winners Edge rider Mark Hatherley on Blue Hole Hill who jumped away, battling the headwind and getting a gap on the field. He was caught by the Aquarium and then the pace settled until the riders had turned at Barkers Hill and were on their way back east.
As they approached Flatts, Kaden Hopkins, also of Winners Edge, attacked and quickly opened up a huge gap. The rest of the riders were in a tight group with none of Hopkins team-mates assisting with the chase, as he continued back to Kindley Field to the turn at Double Dip roundabout and starting the second of three laps.
As the chase group got to Blue Hole Hill, Oliviera picked up the pace that could only be matched by Mayho. The two worked together in the strong headwind and eventually reeled Hopkins in at Dub City, with Oliviera attacking immediately, pulling away with Mayho covering his move. Paying for his effort of his long breakaway, Hopkins could not respond as the two riders worked tirelessly together to extent their lead.
It soon became clear that the winner would come from these two as they built up an insurmountable lead. Hopkins was joined by team mates Darren Glasford and Nicholas Narraway, but with the two leaders forming a temporary allegiance they would be racing for third place.
The last time on The Causeway, Oliviera attacked Mayho, but in the strong tailwind the experience of Mayho played a part as he jumped on the younger rider’s wheel and sat in his draft until the finishing line came into site, when he made his move and powered to the front taking a well-deserved victory. Hopkins had separated himself from his team-mates and came across the line third.
The biggest field of the day was the B category, with 27 riders for the 35-mile race. There were a number of attacks on the first lap, which were quickly shut down. Two Team Tokio riders, led by Fabian Schonenburg, attacked on Crawl Hill but were reeled in. The next significant move came from Winners Edge rider Kevin Topple, who broke away at Flatts going west, around the turn at Barkers Hill and staying away until he was caught at Shelly Bay. Stephen Paynter countered and was joined by Simon Hanrahan, of Winners Edge, with the two staying off the front until the pack pulled them back on Kindley Field Road after the turnaround at Double Dip roundabout.
With the pack back together in the headwind it was the final climb up Blue Hole Hill when riders started jockeying for position. After the turn at Swizzle Inn, a close-fought battle began with Garth Fleming, Peter Crayford, McQuinn Burch, Clifford Roberts, Zonique Williams, Otis Ingham and Hanrahan all jostling near the front. In the final sprint, Hanrahan powered into the lead and took the win over Fleming and Roberts.
In the C category race it was not long before riders started to try and break the 23-rider field up. Rhys Pearce appeared most keen to separate the pack as he was seen in every move on the first lap. Clearly riders recognised that Pearce was a big threat and so started attacking him, but he was up to the challenge.
As the riders approached the start finish line to begin their last two small laps, there was suddenly a crash that affected over half of the riders with Paul Claude and Wayne Scott both going down extremely hard, both later being taken to hospital by ambulance.
In front of the crash, Jermaine Postlethwaite opened up a lead which he held into the last lap until Mark Booth and Donald Musson led a chase down that saw him caught at Swizzle Inn roundabout. Postlethwaite again took the lead and drove the pace onto Kindley Field Road. Pearce moved to the front clearly looking for the win but in the final stretches he appeared to start his sprint too early, and Michael Thomas lunged past him to victory.
An impressive solo performance would define the women’s race. Bicycle Works team-mates Kaitlin Conyers and Jamie-Lee Wright joined forces less than two miles in. It was not long before the two of them were trading pulls, but as they reached Flatts, Conyers was clearly the stronger of the two and rode away to victory.
In the Junior A race, Blake Oliviera was in a class of his own, finishing uncontested ahead of Manning Smith and Daniel Ringer.
In the Junior B race, Rory Fleming outsprinted Gordon Smith by less than a second.
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