[Written by Stephen Wright]
Conor White produced the ride of his life to win the bronze medal in the men’s time-trial at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, today [October 22].
White, a time-trial specialist, achieved his objective of a podium finish, completing the 40-kilometre circuit in 48min 13.96sec to etch his name in the annuls of Bermuda cycling history.
He is the first Bermudian athlete to medal at the Pan American Games since triathlete Dame Flora Duffy claimed bronze in Toronto in 2015.
“I guess that puts me in pretty good company!” White told Bernews. “It’s special ending up on the podium at the Pan Am Games. It’s probably the best time-trial I’ve ever done.
“I had a pacing target in mind on the first lap and was about five watts up on it. I knew it was going to be a good day. I was able to increase it even more on the second lap.”
For White, the podium finish caps off a memorable season in the time-trial, winning bronze at the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador in July and gold at the Caribbean Cycling Championships in Guadeloupe earlier this month.
“To podium at all three events is amazing, especially considering two are major competitions,” he said. “The time-trial is my main focus when I head to these international events. I’m happy to see my hard work paying off.”
Kaden Hopkins also produced an eye-catching performance, finishing fifth in 48:45.41. To put their displays into context, Richard Carapaz, of Ecuador, who finished runner-up in the time-trial, claimed gold in the road race at the Olympic Games in Tokyo two years ago.
“To not just have one of us up there, but both of us – I mean, Kaden and I have been going back and forth all season,” White said.
“We’ve raced in four TTs, and I’ve won two, and he’s won two. We joked that this race was the final between us!
“I knew we were both capable of a podium. Kaden had a great ride, too – he was only about 30 seconds behind me.”
White rides domestically for the Austin Aviators in the United States but has not ruled out joining Hopkins, who races for French team Vendee U, in European competition.
“I’m happy with the team I’m on,” White said. “It would be nice to go to the next level. If teams from Europe start reaching out, I’ll definitely entertain it. Maybe this could be the result that gets me into Europe.”