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Conor White returns in style to win second race of MTB Series

Conor White on his way to victory in the main Open 60 Minute category (photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Conor White made a triumphant return to the saddle with victory in the second race of the One Communications MTB Series at Coney Island on Sunday.

Back in competitive action for the first time since winning a bronze medal at the Pan American games in Chile last month, White won the Male Open 60 Minute category, completing 11 laps in 1hr 2min 15sec, slightly more than 40 seconds faster than the rest of the field.

Kavin Smith, who claimed victory in the opening race of the season, settled for second place this time round, completing the same amount of laps in a total time of 1:02:58, with Jackson Langley rounding out the podium places after also managing 11 laps in 1:03:10.

Dominique Mayho was the only other rider to manage 11 laps, finishing fourth in 1:05:34, ahead of Alan Potts finishing a lap down in 1:01:05 to complete the top five.

Meanwhile the technical course, made more challenging by the slick conditions caused by heavy rainfall, claimed its fair share of casualties, with no fewer than five riders enduring mechanical issues and one even suffering a broken collarbone.

For White, it was an ideal opportunity to build up some fitness in what is his off-season from road racing.

“This was the first time I’ve ridden for a little more than three weeks, but I managed to race hard and at my upper limit the whole time, which was pleasing,” said White, who bided his time before passing early leader Jackson.

“It was a good race, very technical with a good rocky section.

“Jackson went off really quickly from the line, but I knew it was too hard a pace to maintain for the entire race. I just kept my pacing where I thought it should be and once I caught him, I knew I could pass him and then just ride my own pace until the end.

“It was nice to be back on the bike in preparation for getting back to road racing. The plan is to continue training on island until the new year and then I’m planning on heading over to Spain early next year for more training.”

In the Female Open 60 Minute category, Panzy Olander prevailed, completing eight laps in 1:01:27, one more than Wendy-Ann Thomas (1:05:03) and two more than third-placed Charlotte Millington (1:01:56).

The top four riders in the Open 30 Minute category all completed four laps but it was Howard Williams who came out on top, crossing the line in 33:10. Holger Eiselt finished in second place 50 seconds adrift, with Sherman Darrell in third a further 35 seconds slower.

Rui Moniz was fourth in 38:38, with Zina Jones completing a lap less in the allotted time in 32:18, to round off the top-five places.

The event also included two junior divisions with Jens Drea prevailing in the male 13-16 age group 30-minute division. He completed eight laps in 32:44, comfortably clear of nearest rivals Ray Richardson (33:35) and Sanchez Smith (33:40), who both managed the same amount of laps.

In the corresponding female category, the top-two riders completed seven laps, but it was Skye Ferguson who came out top, having done so in 30:36, comfortably ahead of Kelise Wade (33:05) with Sofia Leclerc third after managing a lap less in 31:20.

In a closely fought 9-12 race in which nine riders completed a total of five laps, Naomi MacGuinness, who had earlier competed in the Athora Run/Walk, proved victorious in 21:11, slightly less than 30 seconds faster than Alfie Jansma (21:37) in second, who in turn was 13 seconds ahead of Hannes Swart (21:50).

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Published November 19, 2023 at 3:49 pm (Updated November 19, 2023 at 8:44 pm)

Conor White returns in style to win second race of MTB Series

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