Conor White back on island with bang as he prevails in road race
Conor White lived up to pre-race expectations by claiming victory in the Bicycle Works Road Race today.
Having returned to the island after an encouraging performance at the Bucks County Classic in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he finished eleventh in the time-trial, White led for the majority of the race on a challenging course, which started and finished on St Mark’s Road, to win the Open category in a time of 1hr 27min 3sec.
The 22-year-old held off the stern challenge of Cameron Morris, who unfortunately missed a gear at the crucial moment in the closing stages to all but end his valiant effort. He finished just two seconds adrift of White, with Steven Millington completing the top three in 1:27:14.
While delighted to claim victory, White admitted his task was made that much harder by having his rivals focus solely on him as the firm pre-race favourite.
“It’s great to be back on island and get a win,” he said. “It was a tough race and being an overseas rider among the field, everyone just looks at you to set the pace. It meant I was on the front probably 90 per cent of the race and it’s not as easy as people think.
“I think a lot of people just expect me to be able to ride away but it’s really not that simple being out at the front and at full gas. People are able to sit in behind me and so you just shake them off that easily.
“Riders drafting behind me get a major benefit and so every time I tried to attack, Cameron [Morris] was always there.
“I know he has a good sprint and so it could have been a close finish but unfortunately for him he skipped a gear right at the end. He raced really well, really smartly, it was a good race.
“I was delighted to win because it could have easily been a different story.”
It proved a frustrating race for a number of competitors, including Caitlin Conyers, who was forced to replace a flat tyre before rejoining the race on her way to finishing fourteenth, while Dominique Mayho was a notable name among the five riders who failed to finish.
Jackson Langley was at his dominant best in the Citizen category, crossing the line in 1:15:27, more than four minutes clear of nearest rival Jake Smith, who in turn finished less than a minute of Gordon Smith, who clocked 1:20:11.
The closest fought race proved to the be in the Women’s category in which Charlotte Millington ultimately prevailed, crossing the line in 1:20:29.536 to pip Annabelle Miller in a sprint finish by less than four tenths of a second. Skye Ferguson completed the podium places, finishing in a time of 1:46:54.