Conyers determined to make up for lost time at UCI Road World Championships
Caitlin Conyers is relishing the opportunity to finally make her debut at the UCI Road World Championships, which start today in Glasgow, Scotland.
The 33-year-old was primed to make her first appearance in the annual event in Belgium in 2021 but saw her hopes dashed after testing positive for Covid-19 prior to her scheduled departure.
Lightning then struck again a year later as she was also ruled out of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, after again testing positive.
The traumatic experiences left Conyers heartbroken and she has yet to fully shrug off the emotional scars from both ordeals.
“Anyone that has followed my cycling journey the last few years will know that I missed my first chance to do a World Championships in 2021 because of a positive Covid test, and then missed Commonwealth Games last year because I got Covid,” Conyers posted on social media.
“I’ve been so scared to post anything about this World Championships for fear of it all falling apart again. After all of the work that goes into preparing for these events, mentally and physically, one of the biggest heartbreaks is to not make it to the start line, especially when you don’t know if you’ll ever get another chance at it. But I’m here, I’m healthy and happy and feeling strong.
“Just getting to the start line tomorrow will be a win, and then I’ll tuck my head and pedal my legs as hard as I can for 36 kilometres, wearing the best kit in the world.”
Conyers bounced back from last year’s disappointment of missing out on the Commonwealth Games by landing a silver medal in the women’s elite time-trial at the Caribbean Road Championships in the Dominican Republic two months later.
Her confidence was then further boosted after being named as female rider of the year at the Bermuda Bicycle Association’s annual awards in February and receiving a Senior Female Achievement Award at the Government Sports Awards a month later.
She is attempting to become the first Bermudian female cyclist to qualify for the Olympic Games and believes she is in the form of her life.
“This year has been fantastic so far and I definitely feel I’m in the best form I’ve ever been in,” she said.
“I feel really content at the moment and I’m seeing some huge improvements in my performances.
“I’m the fittest I’ve ever been and hopefully I can stay healthy because at the moment I just feel really good and happy with everything.”
Conyers has already enjoyed success this year having won the Trofeu Fémines Ajuntament d'Ondara race, part of the Women's Challenge CV Series in Spain, and Annual Women's Cross Country Classic in Belize in March.
She then followed that success by claiming the national women’s road race, time trial and criterium titles prior to earning a bronze medal in the women’s time trial at last month’s Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador.
If all goes accordingly, Conyers hopes to secure one of ten Olympic spots up for grabs in the time-trial to nations not already qualified via the points route at the UCI World Championships, where she has made a few friends since arriving in Scotland.
“I showed up a week ago not knowing anyone in Scotland and I’ll leave with a list of people that I’ll never forget,” she said.
“People that have just met me but believe in me, and have been willing to open their homes and cars, and upended their life for a week plus to be there for me.”