Conor White set to test himself on European cycling circuit
Conor White is relishing the opportunity to test himself at a higher level of cycling ahead of competing in a number of races in Europe.
The 21-year-old took a huge step towards realising his dream of joining the professional cycling ranks after being signed to X-Speed United Continental Cycling Team’s roster last October.
However, his progress was hindered as the Covid-19 pandemic all but wiped out last season’s racing calendar. Having returned to Bermuda and enjoyed a strong start to the domestic road race season, White finally looks set to have the opportunity to make the step up and challenge himself in Europe.
Having flown out this week, he is now preparing to compete in the UCI Continental Circuits ― effectively the third tier of cycling, below the UCI Pro circuit and UCI World Teams circuit ― starting in Belgium this weekend.
“Last season with X-Speed was completely wiped out because of the Covid-19 pandemic and so it is good to have the opportunity to be racing again,” said White, who has finished as runner-up in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race, CG Insurance Bermuda National Time-Trial Championships and the CG Insurance National Road Race Championships domestically this season.
“While the season was cancelled I had tons of time to train and I think I put in more training time than I ever have before. I think that is definitely going to pay off this year.
“It’s really exiting to be heading over to Europe to compete; starting with a UCI race at the weekend in Belgium. I’ll be racing in mainly road races and hopefully a couple of time-trials as well over the next few months.
“Being continental-level, it is going to be against some really fast guys; a lot of them are fast enough to be full-time professionals, so that will be a great test and experience.”
While White is relishing the opportunity, he is also well aware of the magnitude of the task at hand, admitting that he is trying to keep his expectations realistic, particularly in the opening few races.
“For those first few races, the aim is to just finish,” he added.
I think the first race will be something like 179 kilometres long with 12 different continental teams and another ten club teams competing so it will be a whole new experience for me.
“It will be proper pack racing and so that will be a good experience. I can’t wait to test myself and then from there I’m aiming to do as many races as I can in the three months that I’m out there.”