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Alyssa enjoying cycle of success

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All eyes may have been on Flora Duffy this weekend — but in 16-year-old cyclist Alyssa Rowse, Bermuda has another budding star on its hands.

Alyssa, a Warwick Academy student, has been taking the local cycling scene by storm, as well as competing successfully on the international stage.

She has just returned from the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships in St Lucia, where she placed first in the time trial, and second in the road race.

Thanks to words of encouragement from family and friends, she has also given it a go in the gruelling triathlon, where participants are put to the test with swimming, cycling and running — the event in which Ms Duffy claimed eighth place in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.

But while she has performed well in competitions such as the Iron Kids Triathlon, Alyssa considers herself more of a specialist cyclist.

“My friend made me want to get into triathlons — he used to do them and my mom thought it was a good idea,” Alyssa told The Royal Gazette. “I used to participate in all the running races and I used to swim for a club so it just made sense.

“When I started triathlons, cycling was always my strongest point, so I stopped doing them when I was 12 and started focusing more on cycling.”

For the past four years, Alyssa has been riding for the Bicycle Works team. When she was 14, she began training under the wing of the Bermuda Bicycle Association President, Peter Dunne. She shows no signs of slowing down.

She has won gold at the Bermuda National Road Race Championships and time-trial championships two years in a row, as well as the Criterium championships and the grand prix this year. The latter event involved racing against women which was a “big accomplishment”; this season she raced in the men-B category.

Speaking about her St Lucia performance, she said: “In cycling, since the time trial was first and I won by quite a bit, they marked me so I led the whole race. If I wasn't in the front they would go really slow and a slow race is not fun. My coach was telling me that I could push the pace and it's OK. I was leading most of the race but I just got out sprinted at the end, it was a good race still.”

Her time in St Lucia was 17:13, two minutes ahead of the next rider, with an average speed of 34.85kph.

She will also be competing on September 2, in the four-day Green Mountain stage race in Vermont.

She said: “The first day is a hill climb up a mountain, which is going to be hard because there are no mountains in Bermuda and then there's a circuit race, a road race which is a bit long and a criterium. The road race is about 100 kilometres which I think is quite long. I will be racing in category 3 or 4 which is against the women because there is no junior female category so hopefully everything will go well.”

Other riders travelling to Vermont are Dominique Mayho, who is racing pro, Kaden Hopkins and Matthew Oliveira.

In the future, Alyssa hopes to go to university by receiving a scholarship to pursue cycling and a business-related degree.

Young Achiever: Alyssa Rowse (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Young Achiever: Alyssa Rowse (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 22, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 22, 2016 at 12:42 am)

Alyssa enjoying cycle of success

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