Mountain bike season kicks off with memorable opening at Government House – The Royal Gazette

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Updated: Nov 20, 2022 8:42 PM

One of the contestants shows off some tricks at Government House

Not all pedal power: Kaleb Camara shows courage to climb one of the punishing hills

Kelise Wade and Hudson Ferris make their way on the course

Daniel Ringer (147) is on course to finish third in the men’s 30-minute open division at Government House

Ruby Cook leads Hannes Swart and Cruz Cedenio on the course

The new season of the One Communications Mountain Bike Series got off to a spectacular start with a memorable opening ride on the Government House grounds.

Hundreds of competitors of all ages took advantage of the rare and generous offer from Governor Rena Lalgie to stage the first race of its kind on the North Hill of the 33-acre estate, the largest open green space in the parish of Pembroke.

For Lalgie, who soaked up the heart-pounding action throughout the day, it was a chance to see an idea that was born while supporting Bermuda’s cycling contingent at the Commonwealth Games finally come to fruition.

“At the Commonwealth Games, Peter Dunne [president of the Bermuda Olympic Association] and I had a conversation about how fun it was to have an event here and I’m so excited that we were able to pull it off,” she said.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for me to see so many members of the community get out and enjoy the pitch and to see the full range of people who take part, from very young children to professionals.

“Certainly better to look over the North Shore wall and see a snippet of these guys walking past. I got to walk around the course and see all the races which was amazing.

“The turnout has been incredible and for me to be able to see everyone here inside the court having fun, and so many Bermudians who maybe haven’t had the chance to before, it’s is really special.

“The massive Fat Tire organizers did an amazing job and I hope everyone had a great day. For me it has been truly amazing and such a privilege to be part of an event like this.

The action on the course showcased Conor White at his best as he started the new campaign with an emphatic victory in the Open 60 Minutes category.

Connor White clears the field to win the men’s open race at Government House

Taking the race from his rivals from the start, White completed an impressive 19 laps within the time limit, completing one more than the rest of the field, with Kavin Smith settling for second ahead of Alan Potts.

“It was a pretty tough course, especially with the hill sections and trying not to get stuck in the grass,” said White, who is in his off-season road race. “Having the chance to race here was quite special because obviously we are not normally able to compete on these terrains.

“I’m in my off season so it was good to get back into mountain biking because that’s how I started riding. I’m usually off the island when the races are on so it’s great to be back here for one.

The event also proved a successful outing for another of the island’s elite road runners, with Caitlin Conyers leading the runners home after completing 14 laps of the course, one more than Jennifer Wilson, with Jennifer Lightbourne completing the podium spots after completing 12 laps in the allotted time.

“I was definitely a bit overambitious in the early laps and then I exploded so I hung on at the end,” said Conyers, who welcomed the opportunity to race the field for the first time.

“I’m definitely not as adept on the mountain bike yet and it felt like a full 60 minute time trial, you’re flat out all the way around.

A supporter applauds MiCha Lewis during her run to Government House

“However, it was so much fun and really special to be able to ride here. The governor is so kind to allow us to do this and I hope we haven’t messed up the grass too much and that we will be invited the next year.

In the 30-minute Open category, Dominic Smith prevailed in the men’s division, completing eight rounds, one more than Dunne in second and Daniel Ringer in third.

In the women’s division, Zina Jones came out on top, edging out Rebecca Jay, with both runners completing six laps. Florence Pedro completed the podium places after finishing one lap down.

Mark Anthony Domingo was victorious in the men’s novice division, with Sharon Hammond taking first place in the women’s category.

Gordon Smith edged Wyatt Hall in the men’s division 13-16 after managing to complete eight rounds, Kelise Wade took the honors in the women’s division, completing seven rounds, one more than Skye Ferguson.

Jens Drea proved to be the driver to beat in the men’s division 9-12, finishing six laps, with second-placed Ray Richardson a lap down.

There was also an impressive performance from Daisy Langley in the women’s division completing a total of five rounds, one more than second-placed Sofia Leclerc.

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