Guernsey was the location for another cycling landmark at the weekend: the first road race on the British Isles since lockdown.
The self-governing British Crown dependency had already hosted the first time trial this side of COVID-19 restrictions. Then, as the island exited all lockdown restrictions last weekend, Guernsey Velo Club hosted its first road race since 1 March on Sunday with a six-lap race on its L’Erée circuit in the far south west of the island.
Starting at Rocquaine Bay, the 7.75 mile course immediately heads up the Col du Pleinmont before a false flat along the South coast as far as the airport, then a left turn for a long descent via St Peter’s village back down to the coast at L’Erée and down the West coast along Rocque Poisson back to Rocquaine Bay.
Overnight rain meant the race started on wet roads, and a stiff south westerly wind also saw the odd bit sea spray clearing the sea wall along the coast road. Given the conditions, the race started at a steady pace, with the group of 10 elite riders staying together until TRINITY Racing’s Sam Culverwell – one of The British Continental’s under-23 riders to watch – attacked the bunch at the top of the course midway round the second lap. He’d built a 25 second lead by the end of the lap, but a crash in the chasing bunch at the start of the third lap ended the race of both Seb Tremlett and Mike Serafin.
The crash also held the peloton up enough to effectively end the race as a contest too, with Sam’s advantage up to over two minutes by the end of that lap. The bunch managed to claw back 15 seconds on each of the next two laps as the sun emerged and started drying the roads, but Sam had edged the gap back out to over two minutes by the finish as the chasing group eased up in the final lap for a bit of cat and mouse. Jack English won the sprint for second place ahead of Marc Cox in third.
Results in brief
|1||Sam Culverwell||Trinity Racing||01:52:46|
|2||Jack English||Guernsey Velo Club||+2:08|
|3||Marc Cox||Guernsey Velo Club||+2:08|
|4||James Roe||Guernsey Velo Club||+2:08|
|5||Sam Reed||Côtes d’Armor Marie Morin Véranda Rideau||+2:08|
|6||Matt Osborn||Guernsey Velo Club||+2:11|
|7||Jack Reed||CC Plancoët||+3:49|
|8||Andy Colver||Guernsey Velo Club||+8:09|
|9||Jack Hoskins||Guernsey Velo Club||1 lap|
|10||Tony Bleasdale||Guernsey Velo Club||1 lap|