Charlotte Millington brings home gold at Caribbean Junior Cycling Championships
Peter Dunne, president of the Bermuda Bicycle Association, has hailed the exciting future of Bermuda cycling after Charlotte Millington brought home two medals from the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships in the Dominican Republic.
Bermuda’s four-rider contingent wrapped up the event on Sunday with Millington adding a bronze medal in the road race to the gold medal she had won in the time-trial a day earlier.
As well as Millington’s standout performance across the championships, there was also a strong display from Skye Ferguson, who agonisingly missed out on the podium in the road race, finishing fourth, just 35 seconds adrift of gold.
In the junior men’s category, Cameron Morris also claimed a top-ten finish, placing ninth in a highly competitive field in the road race, with his performance the more meritorious given the absence of his team-mate Thomas Quarterly, who was forced to pull out through illness a day after he finished ninth in the time-trial.
The Caribbean championships continue to prove a happy hunting ground for Bermuda, with Millington succeeding for a second successive year to add to the past triumphs of Kaden Hopkins, Nicholas Narraway, Dominique Mayho and Annabelle Miller.
For Dunne, the latest success is further evidence of the island’s promising future, with development programmes in the sport continuing to reap rewards.
“Our success here this weekend is a product of our development plans and the commitments of Charlotte, Skye, Thomas and Cameron,” said Dunne, who believes the next generation will take inspiration from the quartet’s efforts.
“Success is often looked at from individual performances, but I have the luxury and pleasure of watching from a development standpoint from within Bermuda cycling.
“Obviously, it’s satisfying to see our young athletes performing well and growing in their development. What is most exciting for me is that I’m in no doubt these guys will inspire the next generation coming through and show them there is a pathway that comes from racing for Bermuda.
“It is all credit to the four of them, who have shown great commitment and shown that great things can come from having that attitude.”
Dunne also spoke of the particular significance of the continued emergence of the island’s female riders, a demographic he is keen to encourage into the sport.
“It is certainly pleasing to see young females succeed for the island in this sport,” he added. “It is an area that needed attention in terms of participation because I know there is a lot of talent out there, but it is about giving female riders a pathway.
“What is pleasing is being able to see how Charlotte and Skye have developed. They started racing together and were actually able to complement one another at the championships.
“That was highly satisfying and I’m in no doubt that will help to inspire others to get involved and compete.”
While highly content with his athletes’ endeavours, Dunne has implored them not to rest on their laurels as they continue to develop.
“I’m really pleased with how all of them performed. They all had good races, but it’s also pleasing to know that there is an opportunity to learn a lot from the championship,” Dunne said.
“Even for someone like Charlotte, who won two medals, the focus now needs to be how we can push her on.
“Other riders commented that she was almost doing too much to push the pace of the race and so the takeaway for us is that while she is very good within this group, what can she do to progress to that next level.
“Skye also showed a lot of commitment and determination to claw her way back three times in the road race after being dropped by the leaders. Now we can focus on what can be worked on to make sure she continues on that development process.
“For the two guys, this was their last event as juniors. They wanted to go out with a positive performance and they both did. Thomas had a good time-trial and Cameron rode really well on his own in the road race without the support of Thomas with him.
“They should both be satisfied but there is also a lot they can take from the event going forward to the next level.”