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Nicholas Narraway wins silver medal at Pan Am Road Cycling Championships

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Nicholas Narraway wins silver medal at Pan American Road Cycling Championships

Nicholas Narraway produced one of the rides of his life yesterday to win a silver medal at the Pan American Road Cycling Championships in Brazil.

Competing in the under-23 time-trial over three 11 kilometre laps in Sao Jose dos Campos, Narraway crossed the line in 45min 35.581sec to make it on to the podium and was just nine seconds off the gold medal, which was claimed by Hector Quintana, of Chile.

Narraway finished more than a minute clear of Argentina’s Mateo Kalejman, who claimed the bronze medal, and was delighted to make the podium.

“I definitely wanted to win, that was my goal obviously, but I raced a really hard race in the States on Sunday and then overnight flighted to Brazil and got here yesterday morning, so I was pretty tired,” Narraway said.

“That’s the life of a cyclist, always on the move and trying to make things work, so all things considered, I’m really happy with second.”

The Bermudian is a proficient climber and the course was set up well for him to showcase his ability

“I had a pacing strategy and I stuck to it pretty closely,” Narraway said.

“The course had some hills and that suited me a little bit better than the usual flat courses that they have here and I just hit it up the hills and recovered on the descents,” Narraway said.

“It’s nice when they make it fun and when a course isn’t straightforward and flat, which suits the bigger guys.”

Standing on the podium can be an emotional experience for an elite athlete and Narraway made the most of his time up there.

“It felt great to have the flag behind me and the team in front of me,” he said.

“We’re all really close and good friends. We all support each other as much as we can and whatever each other needs we’re there for them. Usually after a race, no matter the result, I get a lot of messages and it’s great to have so many people supporting me so much.”

Bermuda squad: from left, Kaden Hopkins, Nicholas Narraway, Gabriella Arnold and Conor White

Narraway’s medal was the second in as many years at the Pan American Road Cycling Championships after Kaden Hopkins won bronze in 2023. Add in Conor White’s bronze at the Pan American Games in Santiago last year and Bermuda’s cyclists are gaining recognition on the international scene.

Peter Dunne, president of the Bermuda Bicycle Association, is in Brazil and has noticed that our small Atlantic island is making waves.

“At this level, this is still a new experience for us,” Dunne said.

“Last year, when Kaden won a bronze medal, that was a wonderful surprise and an amazing thing as we had not done that before.

“I wouldn’t say we now expect it every time, but even the head of the Puerto Rico federation introduced me to somebody by saying that Bermuda is really good at time trialling. Puerto Rico is many times our size but it shows people are taking note of what we do.

“We are the smallest country that has riders at this competition. There is a warm-up area before each race and Brazil has enough space for 20 athletes, while we’re sharing half that space with three other countries, so it’s genuinely astounding that we have these three guys.

“The hard work is done by them but we’ve always said to our athletes and cycling federations in our region that we take a super long-term view of things and it’s not focused on a single athlete but putting the various components of what any athlete needs.

“We get good funding from the Government and the athletes are performing well so they get on the Bermuda Olympic Association elite athlete programme and that allows them to reach their potential.

“It is an amazing experience to now come to these championships and the president of the UCI [International Cycling Union] is here noticing that not only did we get a medal last year, we got one this year, and we might not be done this week.”

Dunne is always looking ahead and White and Hopkins are next in focus as they compete in the elite men’s time-trial on Thursday, when more podium appearances could well be on the cards.

“The only thing we ask is that they do the best they possibly can,” Dunne said.

I know that sounds like what you’d tell your 6-year-old at their first sports day but if someone happens to be here who is faster than they are and that much better, so be it.

“But these guys are really good at producing that sustained power and both of them have potential to be on the podium.

“My expectation is that both will be in the top bunch, but whether that is top three, top five or top ten depends on the day and we haven’t seen the start list here.”

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Published May 22, 2024 at 11:22 am (Updated May 23, 2024 at 8:40 am)

Nicholas Narraway wins silver medal at Pan Am Road Cycling Championships

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