‘Underdog’ Mayho to return in title defence
Dominique Mayho is relishing a return to racing as he aims to retain his Bermuda Road Race National Championships crown, albeit in the unfamiliar role as underdog.
Having focused on supporting girlfriend Caitlin Conyer's professional cycling aspirations in the United States over the past few months, Mayho is returning to the start line in a road race for the first time since competing at the Vuelta Independencia Stage Race in Dominican Republic in February.
Despite being the reigning champion, the 26-year-old is well aware he will not be odds on to defend his title at Clearwater beach on Sunday, in light of the emergence of Kaden Hopkins and Connor White, with the former dominating the local cycling scene for the past 12 months.
“This will be the first time I've raced properly since February, it's definitely been a while,” said Mayho “With it being a local race it makes it easier to get back into it because I know who I'll be competing against.
“However, I've been out of proper training for a while, so it will be interesting to see what level I'm at.
“Obviously I want to be competitive but I'm certainly not one of the favourites. Kaden and Connor will be the main guys to look out for and for me it will be a nice change being the underdog.
“Hopefully it means everyone won't be so focused on me and it will be interesting to be able to race with a bit more freedom.
“I'm also hoping Kaden and Connor will be focused more on one another, it will be an interesting race for sure.”
Unlike last weekend's Bermuda Time-Trial National Championships, in which Hopkins defended his title ahead of White and Tyler Smith, tactics will play a major role in dictating how the race unfolds.
Mayho, who did not compete last weekend, conceded he will have a different approach to years gone by with the pressure shifted on to his rivals to control proceedings.
“I'll definitely be approaching things differently to how I have in the past,” added Mayho who has won seven out of the last eight Bermuda Road Race National Championships. “Where as I used to look to dictate from the front, I'll be looking to see how they approach it and react accordingly.
“My main aim is to put at least one of Kaden or Connor on the back-foot and go from there. As well as those two you have Tyler Smith, who is a strong rider and also Kaden's partner for the race, so tactics will certainly come into play.”