Mayho claims grand-prix clean sweep
Dominique Mayho was crowned Bermuda Grand Prix champion after dominating the three-day event, completing a clean sweep of stage victories.
Having won the hill climb in St George’s on Friday and Saturday’s road race in Southside, St David’s, Mayho held a comfortable lead in the men’s A division heading into the Criterium final stage on the streets of Hamilton yesterday.
However, despite his almost unbeatable advantage, Mayho refused to rest on his laurels, winning the race in a time of 57min 37sec, just over two minutes ahead of impressive youngster Alexander Miller, who pushed the overall winner all the way until the final lap, when Mayho’s pedigree finally paid dividends.
Mayho finished the three stages with a winning total of 2hr 41min 38sec, with Jamie Cousins and another promising youngster, Nicholas Narraway, claiming second and third respectively.
“It was definitely a fun weekend full of really good racing,” said Mayho, who hailed his competition and the continued progression of the younger riders.
“You can’t really ask for much more than three wins from three so I’m delighted. Friday was a great start; yesterday the team rode really well and then today everyone raced really hard and in the end I did what I had to.
“Every year all these young guys keep coming through and challenging me. I had Matthew Oliveira, now it’s Kaden Hopkins, Nick Narraway and Alexander Miller coming for me. As well as them, there is the even younger guys in the B category.
“It’s great for Bermudian cycling that these guys are coming through, I’m just trying to stay fit enough to keep ahead of them for as long as I can.
“I always try to push these guys because my time has essentially gone. I want to help these guys gain experience in racing and help them progress where I can.
“They’re are really strong, better than me when I was their age, and if they keep at it then hopefully we can create some world-class cyclists.
“The fact that people with full-time jobs, families and other commitments are still spending three days racing is great to see.
“Every year the competition keeps getting better and better and the future is looking really bright.”
Nick Pilgrim demonstrated his undoubted potential with a dominant final-stage display, leading from start to finish to win, not only the criterium, but the men’s B division overall.
“I didn’t plan or expect to stay out front for the whole race but it happened that way and I just tried to keep my pace up throughout,” said Pilgrim, whose winning total of 2hr 00min 58secs, saw him take the honours ahead of Clifford Roberts and Alan Mooney.
“It’s hard out front because a lot of people are telling you time differences but you don’t really know where the others are so I just tried to keep looking ahead and focus on myself.
“The course was great and I felt good so I’m really pleased as a whole.”
With Caitlin Conyers and Nicole Mitchell opting to compete in the men’s B division, the women’s division proved an incredibly tight affair this year, with just four seconds separating Winners Edge team-mates Louise Wells, Karen Smith, and Dianna White going into the final stage.
Yesterday’s race proved just as close with Wells taking victory in 28min 56secs, just 20 seconds ahead of Smith, who in turn finished a solitary second ahead of White.
The overall total times matched the same running order with Wells prevailing with a winning total time of 1hr 43min 37secs.
“I’m really surprised but obviously delighted,” said Wells, who is more known for her triathlon exploits. The women’s race had some really strong competition particularly from my winners edge team-mates Karen and Diana.
“Coming into the final stage it could have been anyone’s overall. Thankfully I got a little lucky with a good start up the hill and so I decided to try and work hard and see what happened.
“I had a slight advantage and managed to stay out front which was really pleasing.”
Meanwhile, Tracy White took the male C division honours with his total time of 1hr 39min 17secs proving enough to take top spot ahead of Mark Lombardi and Otis Ingham in second and third respectively.
In the junior male 13-16 category, Manning Smith was crowned the winner in a total time of 2hr 04min 12secs, ahead of Odin Heinz and Daniel Ringer.
Reflecting on another successful year of the event Charles Thresh, the race director, spoke of his delight, as well as plans to make the competition bigger and better next year.
“It’s so great to see everyone involved once again and I’m delighted with how the event has gone,” he said.
“We used to have international riders get involved and I’d love to bring those overseas riders here again, starting next year hopefully.
“It was a good solid turnout again for the event and we’ve seen the cream of Bermuda cycling out in force once again.”