Stars aligned for Dominique Mayho to go fourth
Dominique Mayho will be gunning to make history in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race tomorrow.
With three wins, the 27-year-old is in a three-way tie along with Kris Hedges and Wayne Scott for the most successes in the annual cycle race and with victory can become the first rider to win it four times.
“Obviously this [the record] would be good and would mean a lot to me,” Mayho said.
“This is what I am aiming for and I would be proud of it to be the only one with four wins.
“I already have the record for the other big races and I want to add this record to the list.
“This is definitely a big incentive for me.
“I was trying to do it in 2019 but got worked over in the end and finished second.”
The VT Construction-Madison rider achieved his maiden win in 2012 and successfully defended his title the next year. He then won again in 2018 to move level with Hedges and Scott for the most wins in the race’s history.
Mayho is confident he can achieve his objective this year.
“I feel confident going into the race,” he said. “This year some guys are overseas so the main contenders that I can see are going to be Connor White, Alexander Miller, myself and my team-mate Jamie Cousins.
“All of we top guys are individuals; nobody has a big team to help them so it makes it easier to race and a level playing field.”
Men’s and women’s champions Kaden Hopkins, who pipped Mayho for honours when the last race was held in 2019, and Caitlin Conyers are among the riders off island.
Mayho is a firm favourite to win in Hopkins’s absence.
Asked does the high expectation add more pressure, he said: “It does, but I have been dealing with it for a long time, so I know how to handle it. I don’t mind it.”
The experienced rider is generally satisfied with the way his preparations have gone in the build-up to the race.
“I ride pretty much for fitness and fun and it has gone all right so I can’t complain,” Mayho said. “I probably should’ve done a bit more but I’m happy with how I am now.”
He added: “Before the last lockdown we were able to do small group rides so we were going out and doing simulation races and stuff so that was good.
“Recently I have been training doing like really short hard efforts like sprints and stuff just to try to keep the top-end speed up so I can be competitive. The race is so short, so it’s all about just the really high-intensity sprints.”
The race will start at 8.15am in St George’s with separate starts for the men and women. There will also be a youth race starting at the same time and covering the last two miles of the course to the finish line on Cedar Avenue.
The senior race will start in the Town of St George 15 minutes before the runners — first with the men and then the women three minutes later.
The junior race will begin on Middle Road, Devonshire, and take the riders into Hamilton to Reid Street, then to Court Street and Front Street before turning right at the Birdcage to Queen Street. They will then turn right again at Church Street and then left to head down Cedar Avenue to the finish between Dundonald Street and Elliott Street.
The cycle race has been a fixture of the Bermuda Day events for 30 years when it was called the Heritage Day Race.
Packwood won the race in 1992 and 1993, the first back-to-back champion, and when he passed away in 1998 at the age of 36 after an illness, the decision was made to dedicate the race to his memory. The first Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race took place in 1999, with Greg Hopkins winning.
Last year’s race was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.