Caitlin Conyers heartbroken after being forced to miss Road World Championships
Bermuda’s cycling team, in Belgium for the UCI Road World Championships which starts today, will be without its lone female participant after Caitlin Conyers received a positive Covid-19 prior to departing last week.
Conyers revealed on social media over the weekend that she was not in Belgium with the team. Peter Dunne, the president of the Bermuda Bicycle Association who is accompanying the team, confirmed her withdrawal to The Royal Gazette.
It is devastating news for Conyers who was looking forward to representing her country in the prestigious event.
“On Thursday afternoon I was notified by my doctor that I received a positive result from a Covid-19 test,“ Conyers said.
“Heartbreak is an understatement. After a lot of phone calls and tears, I resigned to the fact that I would be in quarantine until next Friday, and wouldn’t be going to Belgium with the rest of the Bermuda team."
Conyers had a strong performance at the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont earlier this month and was hopeful of building on her overall win in the Women’s Pro 1/2/3 Division where she had a combined time of 8hr 6min 30sec.
She competed in the four-day series along with four other local cyclists — Conor White, Nicholas Narraway, Liam Flannery and Alexander Miller.
Dunne admitted Conyers’s withdrawal was a massive blow for the team who will now be without one of its key members.
“She is right that it is heartbreaking,” Dunne said.
“All of the preparation she has done goes out the window and her 2021 international racing will come to a sudden and unexpected halt.”
Dunne appreciated that Conyers showed concern for her team-mates despite her own health issues.
The team will be represented by Kaden Hopkins, White, Narraway, Miller and Flannery when competition begins today.
“She and I discussed this right after the test result came in, literally a few hours before we were scheduled to fly out, and I appreciate that her first concern was for the health of the rest of the team,” Dunne added.
“The emotional let down was huge and it speaks volumes that her focus was on the team rather than her own disappointment.
“The guys will carry her competitive spirit into the competitions in the coming days. And, according to her post, we need to come home with Belgian chocolates for her!”
The Bermuda team is based in Oudenaarde and will start competition today with Hopkins in action alongside White in the men’s under-23 Time-Trial.
Conyers was also due to compete today, in the women’s elite Time-Trial, with Flannery and Miller competing for the first time tomorrow in the junior men’s Time-Trial.
This will be the 100th anniversary edition of the event which is being held in the region of Flanders, one of the heartlands of the sport.