Tyler Butterfield back to test Kaden Hopkins in National Criterium Championships
Despite the Covid-19 restrictions the Bermuda Bicycle Association has managed to put together a highly competitive race programme this year. This continues on Sunday when the island’s riders vie for national honours with the National Criterium Championships taking place in Hamilton.
It promises to provide some of the best racing of the year on the multi-lap event, which starts and finishes on Front Street.
With five championship events being contested, there is a buzz of anticipation surrounding the Male Open category with world-class triathlete and former top cyclist Tyler Butterfield back on the island and having already entered.
Clearly capable of offering up a stiff challenge to in-form Kaden Hopkins, whose dominant performances this year sees him as the favourite, Butterfield’s form is undeniable over longer events, and few would doubt his ability to adapt to the more explosive style of racing that the 55-minute criterium event provides.
Added to this expected battle will be Dominique Mayho, who while having cut back considerably on his racing and training, has been long regarded as the island’s top criterium racer over the years. He has won the championship title many times and is known for his fighting attitude.
The Women’s Open race sees Caitlin Conyers as the clear favourite. Having had her successful early international season cut short this year because of Covid restrictions and race cancellations, she has clearly returned to form in recent local events and will be tough to topple from the top spot.
Ashley Couper, Louise Wells, Maddie Durkin and Roseann Hoey, among others, will be vying for the title but will have their work cut out in what has developed into a strong race category this season.
In what could to be the highlight of the day, the extremely competitive Junior Male Open category promises to showcase just how strong the future of cycling is, with Alexander Miller, Nicholas Narraway, Liam Flannery, Cameron Morris among the many developing youngsters ready to do battle for honours.
Having featured strongly in every event this season, which normally sees them pitted against the island’s top adult riders, picking a favourite to win is impossible to call.
Not to be left out of the action, a Masters 50+ Championship category will be hotly contested with a number of the riders still at the competitive edge of local racing. Darren Glasford, Fabian Schonenberg, Clifford Roberts, Kent Richardson and former Sinclair Packwood Memorial Road Race winner Wayne Scott all are in with a chance of lifting the title.
The final category is the Junior Girls where sisters Zoe and Jasmin Hasselkuss are at the fore, particularly with fast-improving Liana Medeiros sidelined by a broken foot.