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Conyers endures tough first day in Guatemala

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Pedal power: the pan-Caribbean team competing in Guatemala

Caitlin Conyers endured a difficult opening day at the Vuelta Femenina a Guatemala on Wednesday.

Conyers and compatriot Nicole Mitchell are in Central America as members of a pan-Caribbean team alongside team-mates Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Curaçao and Trinidad and Tobago, taking on the five-day race against regional and national teams, and race approximately 470 kilometres on varying terrain.

However, Conyers endured a tough first stage over a 125.5km course, as she was involved in a crash at the 110km point, before chasing for the remaining distance but ultimately suffered an outside time limit classification, for failing to finish within a specified time behind the race winner. Meanwhile, Mitchell finished in 59th position, clocking a time of 3hrs 31min 55sec, a total of 7:36 behind stage winner Arlenis Sierra, of Cuba, racing for the Astana Women’s Team.

Conyers and Mitchell’s teammates Juana Fernandez turned in a great effort to be just over two minutes behind the leaders, while Donelys Cariño and Lisa Groothuesheidkamp survived to take to the start line for stage two, yesterday.

The second stage was raced at over 2,200 metres altitude and involving several difficult climbs.

All five riders held on to finish in the time cut. Sierra again took victory in 2:39:28, ahead of Denisse Aracely Ahumada and Erika Milena Botero. Stage three starts today at an even higher elevation and 90 kilometers in length.

Nicole Mitchell