Bermudian contingent set for long-awaited overseas action
A host of Bermuda’s cyclists will be aiming to make their mark in the United States when they compete in the Armed Forces Cycling Classic this weekend.
Liam Flannery, Alexander Miller, Nicholas Narraway and Caitlin Conyers are poised to make up the local contingent in Arlington, Virginia, competing in various races on Saturday and Sunday in the region’s premier cycling event.
Having endured a frustrating wait for the opportunity to compete overseas, owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, Peter Dunne, president of the Bermuda Bicycle Association, is relishing the chance to see the island’s cyclists test themselves against their international rivals.
“We wanted to give our cyclists the opportunity to get back to international racing and this event works well for Liam, Alexander and Caitlin, as they can race two days in a row,” Dunne said.
“Nicholas can race on the Sunday and since he has been at school in Virginia, it is a relatively easy event to get to.
“Liam and Alexander will be competing in the men’s category 3-4 event on Saturday and should perform towards the front of this race. Sunday is the category 2-3 race, where the level is higher but we feel they are capable of doing very well.
“Nicholas will be in that race as well and the key is for them to be at the front from the get-go. There are over 100 racers in the event and getting stuck at the back will mean it is just a constant fight to see the front end.
“Caitlin will race both events in the women’s Elite Pro 1-2 category across both days. We know that she is very strong but since this will be the first race in many months in an international field, we are hoping that it is just a good racing experience.”
As well as taking the opportunity to compete overseas again, Dunne also believes the weekend represents a valuable experience for the island’s riders ahead of competing in the Caribbean Championships, scheduled for July in the Dominican Republic.
“Of course we are also looking out towards the Caribbean Championships,” Dunne added. “Nicholas and Caitlin are eligible for that competition, while Liam and Alexander will be competing in the Junior Caribbean Championships later in the year.
“We all know that the past year or more has dashed many plans for competitions, including the Youth Commonwealth Games, at which we would have expected to have Alexander and Liam competing in, while the Island Games and many other important competitions were put on ice.
“So for the remainder of the year we want to make sure that our cyclists are getting the exposure and experience required for them to be fully prepared for the major competitions. The association’s job it to help them prepare for those competitions.”