Bermuda Bicycle Association President Peter Dunne says it was a “difficult but valuable five days of racing in Guatemala” on Sunday for the composite team for the Caribbean.
According to Mr Dunne, all six of the riders for Team Caribe will depart Guatemala today (Monday, June 10) having gained valuable experience in the racing, both from the physical side and the race preparation perspective.
“Sunday was the final stage and, after a long week of racing at altitude and against some of the best riders in the continent, we had a wonderful race,” said Mr Dunne.
“Even though we only started with three riders today, the result was a good one.
” Alexi Costa of Trinidad and Tobago was fourth on the stage, battling the sprint to the end. Coupled with her eighth (8th) place in the first stage she will leave with a solid performance and UCI ranking points as well.
“Lisa Groothuesheidkamp of Curacao, who struggled yesterday to finish alone as the final rider, had a super race, spending time at the front and controlling the pace, just as if she was racing in Holland where she has been racing this year. For her hard work all during the Vuelta she won the Valors Olímpicos jersey and was part of the final podium ceremony. It was a pleasure to see her earn the respect of the judges after five tough days.
“To recap, we started with six (6) riders on day one.
“After a crash of Nicole Mitchell and Caitlin Conyers of Bermuda in stage 1, Caitlin missed the time cut for the finish and was not able to continue racing. We did not know how bad Nicole’s injuries were after the crash as she continued well to finish that stage and raced in the bunch on day two. But day 3 was too much for her injuries (bruised ribs) and she did not get to finish that stage. On stage four we lost Juana Fernandez of Dominican Republic, one of the most determined riders in the Caribbean.
“Donelys Cariño of Puerto Rico was our road captain all week long and has not only finished the Vuelta but has been keeping the team together. This is her third time at this event and has seen it grow from a smaller regional race to a full UCI event with top teams such as Astana and Swapit.
“This project in the Caribbean region will hopefully continue so that other can experience racing at this level and upcoming riders have something to aspire to as they pursue their road cycling careers.
“Thanks to PASO and COPACI for their support of this project and we will now look for further opportunities for these riders and others within the region.”
Peter Dunne – Bermuda Bicycle Association President
- Feature Photo Supplied: Start of Stage 2 for Team Caribe. L-R Mitchell, Costa, Groothuesheidkamp, Cariño & Fernandez