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Mitchell gunning for full set of medals

By Colin Thompson in Curacao

Cycling supremo Nicole Mitchell is on the verge of an extraordinary feat at the Elite Caribbean Cycling Championships (CCC) in Curacao.

The 30-year-old female rider is competing in today's time trial where victory would see her complete a full set of medals having already earned silver and bronze medals in this particular discipline at previous CCC championships.

“The gold would be nice,” Mitchell smiled. “I was three seconds outside of gold last year and that can play on you.

“Three seconds you'd think is a pedal stroke here and there and it can definitely preoccupy your mind. But you have to not think about that and put that performance away and focus on the next day of racing.”

Earlier this month Mitchell set a new record (22.30) at the Southside Time Trial.

“I have been doing really well in the time trial this year,” she added.

Also flying Bermuda's banner in today's time trial are Zoenique Williams and Shannon Lawrence.

“The time trial is not an easy discipline,” Lawrence acknowledged. “ It's definitely one of the hardest things to do as far as cycling is concerned because it involves a lot of technique and focus.”

This year will see the men tackle a 36.1 kilometre time trial course while the women will ride on a shorter 16.7 kilometre course. Both courses are located on the north, west side of the Caribbean Island.

“It's a very challenging course, no doubt about it,” said team coach, manager and mechanic Greg Hopkins. “The road surface goes from excellent for everybody to less than perfect. The wind is definitely going to be a factor.”

Tomorrow will see Mitchell, Williams and Lawrence and remaining teammates Dominique Mayho and Darren Glasford all compete in the road race.

The men's road race course is 129.6 kilometres in distance and the women's 64.8.

The top eight countries in the men's road race and top six in the women's will qualify for next year's Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games in Mexico.

Bermuda's riders have been highly active since arriving in Curacao on Thursday cycling on the roads and attending team meetings.

They have also adhered to a very strict diet of protein and carbohydrates.

“For an endurance athlete, the base is to have a very well balanced diet,” said Bermuda Bicycle Association President Peter Dunne. “What we're trying to make sure they are doing in this last couple of days is to make sure everybody is eating well and eating things that are going to be beneficial for them.”

Bermuda's cyclists have also been consuming lots of water to avoid dehydration in the hot and humid conditions in Curacao where the temperature has remained in the high 80s during their stay thus far.

“Hydration is a kicker,” added Dunne. “Our climate at home in the summer time is the conditions we are looking at here plus it's windy so they have to stay hydrated the whole time.”

Raring to go: From left to right - Shannon Lawrence, Zoenique Williams, Dominique Mayho, Nicole Mitchell and Darren Glasfor pose for a photograph ahead of this weekend's Elite Caribbean Cycling Championships in Curacao.

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Published October 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm (Updated October 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm)

Mitchell gunning for full set of medals

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