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Newcomer Williams on a high

Zoenique Williams will enter her maiden Elite Caribbean Cycling Championships (CCC) in Curacao on a high.

And rightfully so.

The 28-year old is fresh off a stunning win in last Sunday's IBC Criterium in Hamilton.

Williams beat Winner's Edge teammate and defending champion Nicole Mitchell by more than a minute to give her confidence a massive jolt heading into her CCC debut this weekend.

“I'm super-excited and ready for CCC,” she declared. “It's (victory) a big boost to my confidence.”

Williams and Mitchell will join forces in this Sunday's road race in the hope of securing a spot at next year's Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Veracruz, Mexico for team Bermuda.

The top six countries will qualify for the next CAC Games.

“There's a lot of stake,” Williams said. “The first six women qualify for CAC Games so there's a lot at stake.”

The Winner's Edge rider is confident that she and her teammate will be equal to the task in Curacao.

“We're hoping to get podium finishes,” she declared. “We have two strong women in Nicole and myself from team Winner's Edge so we're excited.”

Although she's confident the mission will be a success, Williams acknowledges that her task of helping Mitchell finish in the top six won't be easy.

“I definitely have my work cut out for me,” she said. “I just have to put my all in and leave it all out there in Curacao.”

Williams and Mitchell are also competing in Saturday's time trial event.

Williams has left no stone unturned in preparation for the upcoming CCC, setting out on the road in the early hours of the morning with coach Greg Hopkins to keep herself in pristine condition.

“Greg has me cracking early morning at 5am,” she smiled. “He has got me in tip-top shape as well as eating healthy, staying focused and all of that other stuff.”

Williams has established herself high in the pecking order of local women's cycling in a relatively short period of time.

“I've only been riding a year and a half,” she said. “I started on Crimestoppers and transitioned to team Winner's Edge.”

Others flying Bermuda's banner at this year's CCC are Darren Glasford, Shannon Lawrence and Dominique Mayho who successfully defended his IBC Criterium title at the weekend.

The top eight countries among the men will qualify for next year's CAC Games in Mexico.

A total of 18 countries will be represented at this year's CCC.

Bermuda's cyclists depart for Curacao tomorrow and will be joined by Bermuda Bicycle Association (BBA) President Peter Dunne and mechanic Hopkins.

(Photo by Mark Tatem) ¬ Zoenique Williams of Winners Edge sets the pace in the women's race as her male teammates offer support in the background.

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Published October 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm)

Newcomer Williams on a high

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