Conor White powers to national time-trial title
Conor White dethroned Kaden Hopkins to clinch the CG Insurance National Time-Trial Championship title yesterday.
Much of the pre-race build-up centred around the highly anticipated tussle between White and the defending champion and so it proved.
Having been beaten to the title last year, White this time prevailed, completing the technical course, comprising six laps, starting and ending at Clearwater Beach in St David’s, in a winning time of 39min 52.2sec,ahead of Hopkins, who finished more than a minuteadrift in 40:59.2. Liam Flannery completed the podium places in a time of 41:50.1.
“It was nice to come out on top this year,” White said. “I’ve come second to Kaden so many times, so it is nice for it to be the other way round this time.
“There is so much competition between six or so of us and it’s great to have that pushing you on to be better.
“Having so many of us competing regularly overseas has definitely increased the level of the riders and that means when we come home in these races we all just push each other harder and harder.
“I had a target power in mind to try and stick to for the first few laps to try and pace myself and then about halfway through the race I felt like I could increase that power and so I went for it. I managed to hold that higher power and kept my times consistent, which I was delighted about.”
Hopkins echoed the sentiments about the greater level of competition from the island’s overseas-based riders, while also congratulating White on his impressive performance to win the title.
“Obviously, I came out here with the hope of defending my title, but Conor had an incredible day,” he said. “He was just flying every lap and I knew after the first few laps that he was well ahead and wasn’t slowing down.
“You always have to give props to the fastest guy on the day, and Conor was certainly that.
“All of the guys were riding really strong today and honestly it’s great to see that level of competition has increased. As the years go on, it is just going to get closer and closer between all of us.
“I’m happy with my personal performance, but Conor was just that much faster on the day.”
Caitlin Conyers was also crowned national champion completing the course in 40:26.2, more than five minutes faster than Sarah Ryan, her only rival in the Open Female category.
While Conyers was delighted to add another national title to her collection, the race also represented a good opportunity to continue working back towards full fitness ahead of the Commonwealth Games next month after a lingering knee jury.
“I’m very happy with my race and to win another title,” she said. “I’ve not been riding a whole lot because of my injury and so it was nice to get back out there.
“The injury is definitely getting better; I got an MRI scan on the knee and there was nothing structurally wrong, so it was just a case of getting enough rest and being disciplined about my stretching and exercises.
“This was a good outing for me and now I have six weeks to get back to form for the Games. I’m super excited to be going to my first Commonwealth Games and competing against some of the top cyclists.”
There was also delight for Steve Smith, who came out on top in the Men’s Masters Division in a winning time of 46:42.4, ahead of Steve Millington in 47:42.1 and Geoff Smith, who completed the podium places in 49:35.7.
In a close-fought Women’s Masters Division, Elizabeth Stewart prevailed, pipping Julia Hawley to the title by the less than two seconds in a time of 49:26.9.
Tommy Marshall reigned supreme in the Junior Men’s Division, completing the course in 33:30.9, ahead of Cameron Morris (34:49.1) and Thomas Quarterly (35:08.6.)
The Junior Women’s Division title went to Charlotte Millington, who clocked 38:04.5.