Mitchell gunning for more CCC glory
The Elite Caribbean Cycling Championships (CCC) has proven to be happy hunting ground for top women's cyclist Nicole Mitchell.
And she's hoping this year will be no exception with so much at stake for Bermuda's riders.
Bermuda's team, comprised of Dominique Mayho, Darren Glasford, Shannon Lawrence, Zoenique Williams and Mitchell, will be gunning for the 14 (top eight finishers among the men and top six among the women in the road race) Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games spots up for grabs in Curacao this weekend.
Mitchell, who has already bagged four medals (three bronze and a silver) at this event, reckoned Bermuda's chances of achieving their primary objective are as good as any of the remaining participants. “I am confident that Bermuda will be able to secure at least one CAC qualification spot,” she told The Royal Gazette.
“It would be great if both Zoenique and I could both secure a place but I expect the level competition to be tougher. Given this year is a qualification year, there will likely be countries sending cyclists that have not been to recent previous CCCs.”
As always, Mitchell said team work would be crucial to the team's bid for success.
“We are both fit and ready to take on the competition in Curacao,” she added. “But it will be important to work as a team in order to obtain the best result possible for Bermuda. Since I started racing at CCC for Bermuda, the competition has grown stronger every year and I expect this year will be the strongest yet.”
This year marks Mitchell's third appearance at the CCC having represented Bermuda at the 2010 event in Guadeloupe and last year's event in Antigua where she won a silver medal in the time trial and bronze in the road race respectively.
Earlier this year she copped a gold medal at the NatWest Island Games held on local shores.
“Since coming off a great performance, winning a gold medal in the Island Games Road Race in July, I took time to recover and have since been steadily rebuilding my fitness specifically for this event,” she explained.
“Having raced in several CCCs before, I have a better idea of what to expect so I have been able to mentally prepare for it.”
Mitchell will enter this weekend's CCC in good shape physically as well.
“I set a new time trial record (22 minutes and 30 seconds) in the last time trial and my coach, Kendra Wenzel, and I are confident I will be ready for a peak performance this weekend,” she said.
Mitchell has already taken steps to familiarise herself with the course she will be competing on later this week.
“I have only been able to look at an elevation chart and map of the course,” she said. “Hopefully we will have an opportunity to at least drive both the time trial and road race courses when we get to Curacao.
“Sometimes we do not always have that opportunity. In Guadeloupe, both Flora Duffy and I raced the road racecourse having never seen it.”
The team depart today.