Conor White enjoying fine form ahead of pivotal period
Conor White continues to build form as he prepares for a crucial period battling for honours both overseas and at home.
The 23-year-old Bermudian cyclist has enjoyed a host of impressive performances in recent weeks representing United States Domestic Elite Team Austin Aviators, starting with three top-five finishes in the gruelling Quad Cities Criterium Series.
Racing in four separate races in as many days across Memorial Day Weekend in Iowa, Missouri, White kicked off the series with successive seventh-place finishes in the Friday Night Fever and Snake Alley events before claiming fifth in the Melon City race and concluding with eleventh in the Kwik Star event.
Despite enduring an energy-sapping campaign just days previously, White built on those displays to claim victory in the Natural State Criterium in Springdale, Arkansas, on Wednesday evening.
“My form has been really great recently and I’ve just kind of kept building,” said White, whose Aviators team competes at a level between club and UCI Continental level and offers a stepping stone to teams competing at the National Road Calendar, American Criterium Cup, and the NCL Race Series.
“I was actually still feeling the effects of the Quad Cities Crit Series, with the four really hard races, but I decided to enter the Natural State Criterium and managed to win which is great.
“I’m gearing up to help my team compete in the Tulsa Tough race series, which is a three-day event, and then on a personal level I’ll be turning my attention to coming back home and challenging for the Road Race and Time Trial National Championships.”
Those races will see White attempt to successfully defend his national titles, but he is well aware of the tough challenge that awaits from the likes of fellow overseas-based compatriots Kaden Hopkins, Nicholas Narraway and Liam Flannery, who are all due to return.
While their exploits overseas may be in more prestigious races, White is adamant the national championships hold great significance for all of the island’s riders with more than just prestige and bragging rights up for grabs.
“I’m pretty sure everyone will be back for the national championship races so it will be interesting,” added White. “It is definitely still big to compete in those races, everyone comes back because those are the title that we all still want.
“Not only do the national races hold UCI ranking points for all of us but you’re also racing to be able to wear a national champion jersey all year.
“If you are a national champion, you can wear your national jersey in races for your domestic team and so it means you get to wear the Bermuda colours and represent the island in any of the races that we do.
“It will be really interesting because we are all racing in different countries, Kaden in France, Nic over in Spain and Liam in England, so it will be interesting to see the different intensity and form people are in at the stage of their own seasons.
“Those races are the only times we get to compete against each other now and so it should bring a really interesting dynamic to the races.”