Pilgrim & Conyers Claim Victory In Criterium

September 12, 2023 | 1 Comment

The Bermuda Bicycle Association resumed racing on Sunday [September 10] after the summer break with the Winners Edge Criterium races staged in Hamilton, which also featured for the first time an “Urban Mountain Bike” event set up by race director Chris Roque.

The top category A and B event drew a lot of attention with overseas based riders and criterium champion Conor White returning from his busy race schedule in the United States, and Liam Flannery, based in the UK, both on the start line. However, with 2021 criterium champion Nicholas Pilgrim and former multi-national champion Dominique Mayho also racing, it proved to be an exciting race.

And so, it proved to be, in the 40-minute race, which saw all the races start at the flagpole on Front Street, travel west and around the back of Albuoy’s Point, back onto Front Street, left on Queen Street, right onto Reid Street, right onto Parliament Street then back onto Front Street to complete the circuit.

Very quickly, with the explosive pace, the race favourites, including Alexander Miller and junior rider Cameron Morris, separated themselves from the rest of the field, with Liam Flannery in particular attacking off the front to break up the lead group even more.

Photo courtesy of Rochelle Smith

Conor White and Nicholas Pilgrim Bermuda Cycling September 2023

Pilgrim, also keen to keep the pace high, tried to get off the front and he and Flannery looked like they were going to break away together.

But Conor White had none of it and pulled the field back to the leaders.

This pattern continued, with Mayho always in a strong position and Miller and Morris staying in contact.

In the closing laps, it looked like it could come down to a bunch sprint between this group until, on the final climb of Reid Street, Pilgrim made an attack that saw him open up a small gap, which he held onto for the finish, taking a deserved victory with White managing to hold off Mayho for second and third respectively after a highly entertaining race.

Morris, Flannery and Miller finished in that order from the breakaway group.

The earlier women’s race saw a clear favourite, with top rider Caitlin Conyers back on the island after spending most of the year racing and training overseas.

With a small group including Conyers, fast improving Panzy Olander, who placed second behind Conyers in the National Criterium Championships in July, and top juniors Annabel Miller and Charlotte Millington quickly off the front, it soon became apparent that Conyers, who would incidentally race in the A-B race finishing tenth overall, was taking on a team role, as she appeared to be guiding Winners Edge team-mate Miller, to a possible victory.

With Millington eventually being lapped by the lead group, Olander, who was looking very strong, rode a controlled race, having to mark both the Winners Edge riders.

Eventually it came down to the three riders contesting the win on Front Street, and Conyers, as expected, took the victory with Olander and Miller second and third, respectively.

In the early stages of the C Race, it was a close fought, but with youngsters Gordon Smith and Andrew Thomas in the field continually attacking each other, it was soon evident that these two would be contesting the win, despite the efforts of veterans Frank Ming and Paulo Medeiros, who were bravely trying to hang on.

Eventually the two youngsters prevailed, with Smith taking a solo victory ten seconds ahead of Thomas with Ming a further two seconds back.

Dyland Eiselt, Sanchez Smith and Gianluca were the top three finishers in the 13-15 race.

Jens Drea, Sophia Leclerc and Ray Richardson were the top three in the 12 and under, with Drea lapping all but Leclerc in a dominant performance.

For the first time, an Urban Mountain bike event was held, which proved popular and entertaining with riders in an Open and Junior event. On the short loop on Front Street, which saw the riders go into the waterfront car park and negotiate a number of obstacles made up of packing crates and jumps, even Conor White, Cameron Morris, Kavin Smith and Gordon Smith, who had just finished racing, were tempted to ride, taking to top four places.

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  1. Lion Paw says:

    Congratulations Pilgrim Conyers
    Also Miller Olander Smith Thomas Ming
    Eiset Smith Gianluca
    Drea Leclerc and Richardson

    Well done all of you

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