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Island pair win silver and bronze

Nicole Mitchell and Zoenique Williams led Bermuda's charge at the Caribbean Cycling Championships (CCC) in Curaçao over the weekend.

The dynamic duo won three medals between them to put Bermuda firmly on the regional cycling map.

Mitchell claimed a pair of bronze medals in the time trial and road race while team-mate and CCC debutant Williams earned the silver medal in the road race.

And perhaps most importantly the pair's sparkling performances in the road race earned Bermuda two spots in women's cycling at next year's Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Mexico.

Mitchell got the ball rolling on Saturday, placing third in the 16.7 kilometre women's time trial.

She then earned a second trip to the podium after snatching third in yesterday's road race at the death. Mitchell claimed the bronze medal in a sprint to the line after breaking away from the peloton towards the end of the 64.8 kilometre race.

Williams was arguably the biggest surprise of the women's road race.

Entering the event as an unknown quantity, the 28-year old rider produced a showing belying her inexperience at this level.

She broke away from the peloton on the third lap with defending champ and eventual winner Tamiko Butler and never looked back.

Williams threatened to end the Antiguan's reign as champion in this event before ultimately running out of steam on the final lap and settling for second.

Praising the efforts of Mitchell and Williams were Bermuda Bicycle Association president Peter Dunne and team manager and mechanic Greg Hopkins.

“It's great having two women in a race who can race together which is critical because having an individual leaves them quite exposed,” Dunne said.

“When Zoenique went out hard with the eventual winner (Butler) Nicole had the opportunity to sit in the peloton for the vast majority of the race and not have to expand energy chasing because clearly she's not going to chase down her team-mate.

“That's a huge advantage to a rider like Nicole and had the roles been reversed it would've been a similar situation for Zoenique.

“But to be honest if Nicole had gone out with Tamiko in the early part of the race when Zoenique did that would've caused more of a chase because the riders knew Nicole's time trial performance and knew that she and Tamiko could easily roll away.

“Zoenique sort of had a great advantage in doing that but it also ended up protecting Nicole so coming into the sprint the girls who Nicole was really concerned and competing with for the podium had to do a lot more work because they didn't have a team-mate up the road so they had to really go at it.

“It was good and Nicole showed a lot of patience and was aware of the tactical advantage she had and was able to utilise that which is really great.”

Hopkins added: “It was a fantastic performance and pretty much went how we discussed it would go, going with any early moves and that's exactly what Zoenique did.

“She moved with the right person — last year's winner — and they worked together flawlessly and it was a great performance.”

Bermuda's male cyclists — Dominique Mayho, Darren Glasford and Shannon Lawrence — produced a valiant effort but failed to secure a place on the podium in both events.

Bermuda's medal winners at the Caribbean Cycling Championships, Zoenique Williams (second left) and Nicole Williams (second right). Williams took the silver in the road race and Mitchell the bronze in both the time trial and the road race. (Photo by Colin Thompson)

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Published October 21, 2013 at 12:42 am (Updated October 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm)

Island pair win silver and bronze

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