Osborn, Bleasdale and English on fine form to win Inter Insular Road Race Championships

Osborn, Bleasdale and English on fine form to win Inter Insular Road Race Championships

 

In the senior men’s event with Guernsey holding the numerical advantage over Jersey in the inter insular road race their chances were good but with that brought pressure to take the win. Early on Stuart Wallbridge, Nathan Gosling, Josh Gosselin, Andy Colver and Leon Ogier set about riding at tempo and launching themselves up the road allowing Steve Dawes, Mike Serafin and Matt Osborn to save themselves for the latter stages of the race.

 

Unfortunately on the second lap Steve Dawes was left feeling deflated having suffered a puncture. Nevertheless, the plan stayed the same until the third lap of 8 when Osborn countered an attack and established a gap between him and the group containing the Jersey and Guernsey riders along with Mike Serafin.  They held the advantage for around a lap before being reeled in by Jersey’s island games riders Jack Rebours and Sam Firby. This pattern continued for the next three laps when Osborn countered an attack from Serafin taking Andy Colver with him and they quickly had a 30 second gap and with little under two laps remaining they pushed on.

 

Osborn appeared on the finish climb alone with Colver having been unable to match his team mates pace to take the win. Colver managed to stay ahead of the chasers to take 2nd with Serafin attacking on the Reservoir climb to round off another all Guernsey podium. Jersey’s Sam Firby narrowly beat Josh Gosselin in the bunch sprint with Leon Ogier taking 6th, Jack Rebours in 7th and Nathan Gosling in 8th.

 

The men’s veterans and male junior race was started just a few minutes after the senior men’s and with Tony Bleasdale and Paul Brehaut having early season form,  the Jersey Vets were in for a hard time over the 6 laps of racing.  The Guernsey vet’s had a pre race plan which they managed to execute without too much threat from Jersey due to the perfect policing by the GVC riders in the peloton.

Straight from the start Chris Le Page set a hard pace with Paul Brehaut, Anthony Bleasdale and Guernsey Junior rider, Jack English and together with and one Jersey rider formed a small break.  The Jersey rider soon dropped his pace and faded back into the main group. 

At the end of the second lap Le Page having done the work that was intended to get the others away, returned to the chasing group.  Brehaut and Bleasdale started to enjoy the race as the split times were growing lap by lap and young English was doing a fine job holding onto the pace. 

By the time the last split was called out to the three Guernsey riders they had over six minutes lead.  As the tiring vets came up the Reservoir hill for the sixth and last time the young rider English took his chance and sprinted past the two veterans and took the honours in the mixed vets and Junior’s race, a great effort having already won the Junior Time Trial title the previous day.  Brehaut tried to go at the bottom of the last climb but Bleasdale covered the attack, with one last chance at a sprint Bleasdale got the tiring Brehaut on the line.  Brehaut said after, “We all worked very, very hard to pull away, and the rest of the team were covering any attacks from the Jersey guys and slowed the peloton down where they could so the three of us could stay away, a fantastic result for all the team, not just the first couple over the line.”

Third was another GVC rider Mark Smith with Nick Despres crossing the line in fourth.