Conyers steps up Pan Am Games preparation
Caitlin Conyers continued her Pan American Games preparations with an encouraging first-day display at the Pan American Road Championships, in Pachuca de Soto, Mexico.
Conyers, who has been joined by fellow Bermudian rider Dominique Mayho at the competition, kicked off the championships yesterday in the Elite Women's 22km time-trial among a field of competitors including current time trial world champion Amber Neben, of the United States.
Conyers finished the trial in a total time of 32min 35.753sec resulting in a tenth-place finish overall. Her time leaves Conyers just over four minutes behind current leader Leah Thomas ahead of tomorrow's 88 kilometre road race.
“I'm really happy with the time trial race,” said Conyers. “It's the first time I've averaged over 25mph and that has been one of my main goals in a time-trial.
“The course was pretty fast, but it is also at over 8,000ft so I definitely felt the difference in altitude.
“The main goal for me at this race is to gain experience and to get an idea of the level I will be racing at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in August.
“It's not every day you get to race with a time trial world champion Amber Neben and it seems like almost every other cyclist here is a professional, so in terms of results I just have to keep putting it in perspective.
“I am looking forward to the road race on Friday. It will be another huge learning curve, which is the main thing I'm looking for right now.”
Meanwhile, Mayho will be competing solely in the men's elite road race on Saturday, which is made up of a 176km route of extreme altitude.
Peter Dunne, the Bermuda Bicycle Association president, reflected on the challenging conditions facing the duo, but believes it will only aid the cyclists in their development going forward.
“This competition is forming a part of Caitlin's preparation for the 2019 Pan Am Games and there are many benefits to be gained from this event in Mexico,” he said. “Beyond the physical performance it is critical that Bermuda-based athletes gain the experience of these larger races.
“This will help Caitlin approach the Games with greater confidence so that she can focus on riding to her ability.
“Too often we assume that performance is just the physical portion, but knowing what the event looks like and being in unfamiliar surroundings many times before the main competition helps prepare the individual to do their best.”