Dominique Mayho to lead young national team in Dominican Republic
Bermuda’s elite men’s team are heading out to the Dominican Republic to compete in the Vuelta Independencia Dominicana, a seven-day stage race of over 1,100 kilometres, which begins on Monday.
Leading the team is captain Dominique Mayho, still only 28, though the senior member of a team containing Conor White (22), Nic Narraway (19), Alexander Miller (19) and Liam Flannery (18). Kaden Hopkins, another top young rider, is not available for the trip owing to obligations with his Equipo Essax team in Spain. Peter Dunne, the Bermuda Bicycle Association president, will accompany the team on the trip and is looking forward to seeing the young squad compete.
“This will be the fourth year our riders have competed in this major regional competition,” Dunne said. “In 2019, Kaden was part of a pan-Caribbean team and then in 2020 Bermuda and Puerto Rico formed a combined team.
“Then the same the following year Kaden returned to race with a mostly Puerto Rican squad. With Alexander and Liam moving out of the junior ranks we now have an amazingly deep pool of cycling talent and the BBA wanted to capitalise on this opportunity.
“It is the first time in quite a while since we have been able to field a team this young and talented, making national team representation a greater possibility. This event sits well in the calendars for most of the team as it is before the start of the racing season in the United States.”
Mayho expects some good things from the team over the gruelling seven days of road racing. He and Miller will meet up with White, Narraway and Flannery in Miami.
“Three of them are overseas training, Nic is in school in Colorado and training a lot there while Conor and Liam are in LA training, putting in a lot of miles and doing tons of training,” Mayho said.
“Alexander Miller and myself have been based here, waking up early mornings and training a lot before work. The whole team is really fit and ready to go.”
Mayho added: “This year there are bigger teams going to it, so there is going to be a bit more competition than in previous years.
“Conor White has stepped up a lot in the off-season, I’ve seen his training and it is very impressive. I think for him it is going to be a great race.”
Mayho is looking forward to lending his experience to a team containing three teenagers.
“None of these guys have done a race this long before so it is going to be new for all of them,” he said. “For Alexander and Liam this will be their first year out of the juniors, so they have never raced in a senior category overseas. It’s going to be a big learning curve for them.
“But that’s why I’m going, to help out and show them the ropes. Our main focus is going to be the team competition because it is based on the top three performers each day.
“I think we’ll have strength in depth, especially on the big hills with all four of them. I’m not a climber but a sprinter so I’ll be there to try to win the flat stages.
“On the hillier courses all those guys have a shot at getting a good result, and then for me to make sure I put them in the best position that I can.”