Injury hampers Lawrence at CCC
It wasn't a case of all doom and gloom for Bermuda's men's cyclists at the Caribbean Cycling Championships (CCC) in Curacao.
Shannon Lawrence recorded a personal best in the road race and equalled his best in the time trial.
The policemen placed sixth in the 36.1 kilometre time trial and 25th in the 129.6 kilometre road race contested at blistering pace in hot and breezy conditions — despite having to compete against the best riders in the region with a strained muscle in his right leg.
Lawrence covered the time trial course in 50 minutes and 44 seconds and reckoned he could've gone faster with better health.
“I knew I could have done a bit better than that,” he said. “Having that strained muscle was not easy, having to pedal a bit different to stay away from that pain especially in those conditions.
“I was trying to hang in there with my sprained muscle and was able to make it through. But it was really, really tough. It was really, really hot out there and windy.”
Lawrence, 36, was Bermuda's highest finisher in the road race.
The Island's men's cyclists were never in medal contention and finished among the last pack of riders.
With only two riders to protect lynchpin Dominique Mayho, Lawrence said getting a place on the podium and securing Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games qualification was always going to be an uphill struggle.
“There were some really strong teams who had a lot of guys in team that made it hard,” he said. “When you're up against teams with five guys and then the hosting team has ten obviously that makes the challenge that much bigger trying to respond to things and just having two guys to protect one to be able to put them in a good position. What we need is more team-mates.”
Despite being at a numerical disadvantage, Lawrence did his best to keep Mayho in contention before the bottom fell out when the young rider was forced to retire with a flat tyre less than five laps from the finish.
“There were a lot of attacks and I was trying to respond early to certain things so that Dominique didn't have to do too much,” Lawrence said.
It is the second straight year that Mayho has failed to complete the road race at the championships.
“It's unfortunate that Dominique had a flat towards the end,” said Bermuda Bicycle Association president Peter Dunne. “He was in a position where he was competing for the front end of the race and between Darren (Glasford) and Shannon I think they rode well.
“When Dominique was still there they were working hard for him which is something good because we need to develop at national team level and need more ability to do that.”