Mitchell to make most of late inclusion
Nicole Mitchell says she was “over the moon” when she received a last-minute invitation to compete at the Pan American Games.
Mitchell had given up hope of completing the “full set” of competitions realistically on offer to Bermuda’s cyclists — the Central American and Caribbean Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Pan Am Games — and is determined to make the most of possibly her last hurrah at the elite level.
“I was over the moon when the Bermuda Olympic Association agreed to send me,” Mitchell said.
“Trinidad and Tobago had an additional female spot and weren’t sending anybody and Bermuda were next on the list.
“We were notified a few weeks ago and the BOA selection committee was incredibly generous in allowing me the opportunity.
“I’ve been to two CAC Games and one Commonwealth Games and the Pan Ams was one I hadn’t been to.
“This rounds it out for me. It’s a nice in between level; it will be higher than CAC Games but not as high as the Commonwealths.”
Mitchell, who competed alongside Dominique Mayho, Bermuda’s coach in Lima, at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, said her main responsibility is to help her team-mate, Caitlin Conyers, who is experiencing her first major international competition.
“Caitlin has known she was coming for some time and has been able to plan and peak for this event,” Mitchell said.
“A lot of my role will be to help Caitlin as she gains international experience.
“I’ll be doing the best I can to help her out whether that’s with bottle feeds or pulling her back up into a better position.
“My days at this level are apparently numbered. Sadly, I’m not getting any younger. Caitlin’s up and coming and is definitely the future for the sport.
“Dominique, her coach, who I have competed with at a number of these events, has plenty of experience so she will have the support she needs.”
Despite being added to Bermuda’s 17-strong Pan Am Games team at the eleventh hour, Mitchell is confident in her fitness having raced at the gruelling ten-day Intelligensia Cup in Chicago last month and the Vuelta Fememina a Guatemala in June as part of a Caribbean team along with Conyers.
“I do have quite a lot of fitness,” Mitchell added.
“The road race is what I’ve been focusing on. For me, the time-trial is really about getting some time on the course, opening my legs up and getting my mind on the competition. I’m more focused for the road race on Saturday.”
Mitchell is braced for a challenging and hilly course at the Curcuito San Miguel, where the time-trial today and road race on Saturday will be held.
“The course is interesting,” she added. “They have used three-quarters of the same climb for both the time-trial and the road race. It’s definitely going to make it very challenging. You usually don’t see climbs like that in time-trials.
“It will definitely be a race of attrition. Just trying to stay in and not get pulled will be the goal.”
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