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Conor White leads sterling show by Bermuda’s cyclists in Arkansas

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Sweet taste of victory: Conor White crosses the line to win the criterium stage of the Joe Martin Stage Race Series in Fayetteville, Arkansas
And they’re off: Conor White, centre, and Nicholas Narraway, right, get under way in the criterium stage of the Joe Martin Stage Race Series in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Bermuda’s cyclists enjoyed further success overseas after impressing in the Joe Martin Stage Race Series in the United States.

Caitlin Conyers (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Fresh from collecting a handful of medals at the Pan American and Caribbean Cycling Championships this month, Conor White, Nicholas Narraway and Caitlin Conyers made up the island’s contingent competing in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the 44th instalment of an event that consisted of a four-day, four-stage professional men and women's cycling race.

It proved another strong performance from the trio, with White and Narraway impressing in the Men’s 1-2 Category, clinching fourth and eighth-place finishes respectively in the overall standings, while Conyers finished 20th overall in a highly competitive UCI Pro Women 1-2 Category.

“Following their successes in the Dominican Republic, all three riders demonstrated that they are hitting their stride and competing at a high level,” said Peter Dunne, president of the Bermuda Bicycle Association. “All have taken their national team success and pushed themselves further.”

For White, it was a particularly positive outing, having secured a top-ten finish in each of the four races, capped by an impressive victory in the final criterium, as well finishing fifth and sixth in the road races and ninth in the time-trial.

“Personally, it was a great race series,” he said. “Stage one was 185-kilometre road race in the blistering heat of about 35C to 40C. It was a day of survival, but I managed to finish fifth after suffering severe cramps in the final hour.

“Stage two was much better as it was only 108km and I managed to finish in sixth, before going on finish ninth in the time-trial and set a personal best in the process. I was only 12 seconds behind second place, so it shows how close the race was.

“The fourth and final stage was definitely my best day, in what was a technical and hilly criterium. It started raining about 15 minutes into the race and it got pretty hairy with all the riders.

“I decided it would be safer and faster riding off the front as I could choose my lines around the course. I managed to get away and build up a lead of 45 seconds and hold it till the line to take the win.”

Not to be outdone by his compatriot, Narraway also got himself on the top step of the podium, having clinched victory in the second road race stage, after breaking away to ride to the line solo.

He also performed consistently across the series, finishing in eleventh place in the opening road race, twelfth in the time-trial and completed the series with a strong eighth-place finish in the criterium.

Conyers will also be rightly satisfied with her endeavours across the series. Having got off to a difficult start, finishing 43rd in the opening road race, she was fifteenth in the second road race, followed by impressive finishes of tenth and eleventh respectively in the time-trial and criterium.

The trio, along with compatriots Liam Flannery and Alexander Miller, are set to compete in the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont starting on Friday.

Just as with the previous event, the series consists of four challenging days of racing, including the Warren Time-Trial to start, followed by the Randolph circuit race, Bioracer Mad River road race and capped with the Richard Tom Foundation Burlington criterium.

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Published August 31, 2021 at 8:01 am (Updated September 01, 2021 at 8:11 am)

Conor White leads sterling show by Bermuda’s cyclists in Arkansas

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