Rivals gunning for hot favourite Mayho
Dominique Mayho is the unsurprising favourite in the Fast Forward Bicycle Works Criterium on the streets of Hamilton on Sunday.
In the women's race, April Galda, who has returned to the Island after competing in Arizona, is the leading contender in the absence of Nicole Mitchell, who has headed in the opposite direction to prepare for overseas competition.
The race starts at 7.30am with the junior C race to be followed by five more categories before the adult A competition brings the event to an expected barnstorming climax at 10.15.
Peter Dunne, the Bermuda Bicycle Association president, is hoping for a bumper turnout of competitors and expects Mayho to be pushed all the way in the main event.
“The adult A race will see Dominique Mayho as the usual favourite, but Shannon Lawrence, Darren Glasford, Mark Hatherley will all be out to show some early season form.” Dunne said. “Teams are still finalising which riders will race in which categories, but the expectation is that the turnout will be very large, making the short and technical course even more challenging.”
Dunne added: “Almost everyone is here this weekend except for Nicole Mitchell, who is back training in Arizona before she heads to the Redlands Classic in California, which starts on April 1.
“In the women's field, April Galda should be one of the main protagonists, as she has come off a successful weekend of racing in Arizona recently.”
Mitchell, who was crowned the BBA's Female Rider of the Year last weekend for the second consecutive year, is determined not to rest on her laurels as she prepares for her upcoming races.
“I'll be training in Tuscan for a week before heading to the Redlands Cycling Classic,” Mitchell said.
“I have been fortunate to find a guest spot riding for the Sisterhood of Cycling [a women's club for riders aged 35 and over]. After Redlands, I will be building towards the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, from April 18 to 19.
“This style of race will be a great learning experience and a good test to see where my fitness levels are, as I build towards the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July.”
Mitchell competed in the three-day Tucson Classic last weekend, finishing 30th in the time-trial in 10min 36sec, before improving by two places in the road race in 2:53:46 on the second day.
She saved her best performance for last, finishing 21st in the circuit race, crossing the tape in 1:51:12, for an overall time of 4:55:34.
Competing overseas early in the season should help Mitchell to achieve her lofty objectives when she represents Bermuda.
After the Commonwealth Games, she will compete in the Caribbean Championships in Puerto Rico in October and the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico in November.
“I competed in several National Racing Calendar level races in the United States last year,” Mitchell said. “These races are the highest level of racing available in the United States and can only help me going into the bigger events on my calendar.
“Representing Bermuda at the highest level is paramount for my personal objectives and I'm proud to carry the Bermuda flag.”