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Tough experience for Conyers and Mitchell

Caitlin Conyers and Nicole Mitchell have wrapped up a difficult five days of racing in Vuelta Femenina a Guatemala.

The pair were 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.

The Caribbean team started the competition with six riders, however, after both Conyers and Mitchell suffered a crash in stage one, Conyers missed the first time cut to finish and as a result was not able to continue racing in the subsequent stages.

After the crash, Mitchell managed to battle through to the end of the first stage and raced in stage two the next day. However, day three of the competition proved a step too far for Mitchell, with her injury hindering her in reaching the finish line. Stage four also resulted in another loss to the team with Juana Fernández, of Dominican Republic, failing to make the cut.

That left the team with just three riders for the final stage on Sunday, but despite the numerical loss, the results proved positive for the team.

Alexi Costa, of Trinidad & Tobago, clinched a fourth-place finish on the stage, battling the sprint to the end, and coupled with her eighth-place finish in the first stage, she left with a 47th-place finish overall and valuable UCI ranking points. Lisa Groothuesheidkamp, of Curaçao, who struggled on Saturday to finish alone as the final rider, had a much improved race on Sunday, spending time at the front and controlling the pace, before finishing in 34th place. For her hard work during the event, where she finished 58th overall, she won the Valors Olímpicos jersey and was part of the final podium ceremony.

The team’s road captain Donelys Cariño, of Puerto Rico, competing in the competition for the third time, managed to finish the entire event, to secure a 56th-place finish overall.

Liliana Blanca Moreno, of Astana Women’s Team, was crowned the overall general classification winner with a total time of 12hr 39min 16sec, more than a minute and a half ahead of Andrea Ramirez, of Swapit Agolico, with Estefanía Herrera completing the top three.