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Dominique Mayho given the hurry-up by man from Down Under

New rivalry: Dominique Mayho, left, and Matt Boys

Leading Bermudian cyclist Dominique Mayho is finally getting some much needed competition.

Mayho has long dominated on island and, with professional cyclists Conor White, Kaden Hopkins and Nic Narraway plying their trade overseas for large parts of the year, he had no one to push him.

That is where Australian former professional Matt Boys enters the picture. The 34-year-old moved to the island in December after his wife accepted a position with Carey Olson, and the cycling scene now features a burgeoning rivalry.

Mayho, the better sprinter, still holds the advantage with his latest win at Astwood Park on Sunday, but his new rival is enjoying the fierce competition.

“It’s good and we’re at a similar level,” Boys said.

“We were racing at a similar level overseas, so it’s nice to have someone to actually race against. A lot of guys here are dads who enjoy riding the bikes, but Dom is at least able to provide some serious competition. I don’t think that he always has constant competition, so it makes him just feel good.”

As it stands, Boys is free to train throughout the week with no employment on island as yet, but he is loving the freedom to ride his bike for four hours every day.

“It’s all I have to keep me sane, which is fine because it’s all I’ve ever done,” Boys said.

“It’s all I love and I know this won’t last for ever, so I’m just enjoying being able to ride full-time again. I retired in 2017 so to come back again at 34, it’s awesome to be able to ride 20 hours a week.

“Where I’m from in Australia, the Gold Coast, it’s similar with the beaches and the roads here and the drivers here are amazing.

“Everybody when I arrived told me to be careful and that the drivers are crazy, but I’ve never had an issue and I love it. It’s a good place to train and people say you see the same things and the same roads every day. But, honestly, wherever you live you always see the same roads.”

As for Mayho, he knows he has to bring out his best every time he jumps into the saddle.

“He’s a lot stronger than me and especially on the climbs; that’s where it shows the most,” Mayho said.

“He’s above my level. It’s usually only when Kaden, Conor and Nic Narraway come back that I’m nervous and stressed out trying to figure how I’m going to survive, but now every race and even on the weekend group rides, I know that he’s going to be there. I have to bring my A-game every time, so it’s fun.”

After he crossed the line in front at Astwood Park on Sunday, Mayho turned to point and shout at Boys, which suggests the intensity of the rivalry will continue to build through the coming months.

“Before the finish, there is a little gamesmanship,” Mayho said.

“Normally in sprinting, you want to be behind the rider so he was on the front and we had a little coming-together. Luckily both of us know how to ride a bike, so we didn’t crash, but there was a bit or argy-bargy. I got a little hot-headed and gave him a little bit.”

Unfortunately, there will be no “clash of the titans” in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race on May 24, as Mayho is travelling to attend a wedding, but he thinks this year’s trophy could eventually take pride of place on Boys’s mantelpiece.

“It’s going to be hard for anyone to beat him on May 24, as he’s so strong,” Mayho said.

“If Jackson Langley plays his cards right, he can hang with him, but Matt’s got a really good sprint. I can’t really see anyone beating him.”

The chief beneficiary of this new-found rivalry could well be teenager Langley, who is learning every week, especially from Mayho, his VT Construction team-mate.

“I'm getting a great ride and a great workout every week, and even if I’m not going to win anything, I know that in the long run it’s going to make me better.

“The new guy, Matt, he’s a great rider and gives Dom a run for his money. It’s a good little competition.

“Dom is always helping me and it’s completely out of love; he wants the best for me. To any passers-by, they would be thinking why is this guy ripping my head off, but it’s all love and he just wants me to be better. It helps me learn and in the long run it will help me tactically and improve.

Langley prefers the multidiscipline triathlon and views cycling as a fallback option

“I have the option to go into cycling, but I really like triathlon right now.” Langley said.

“I guess, in a way, cycling is a back-up plan but I’m going to go to the Caribbean Championships and try to represent Bermuda in some cycling, too.

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Published May 11, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated May 11, 2024 at 7:36 am)

Dominique Mayho given the hurry-up by man from Down Under

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