Riders get sport back under way

A TIME TRIAL early on Saturday will break the long-standing domestic sporting hiatus as Guernsey enters a new phase of normality.

Guernsey Velo Club president Mark Smith. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 28311679)
Guernsey Velo Club president Mark Smith. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 28311679)

The first rider will set off at 6.45am, some hours before a special cricket exhibition match gets under way at KGV as island sport embraces the transition to ‘phase four’, and Guernsey Velo Club will then stage a repeat time-trial at the same time the next day.

Both Saturday’s and Sunday’s ‘TTs’ will unfold over 10 miles on the popular Cobo course, with the staging of two separate events allowing organisers to accommodate more than the single-event limit of 30 people.

Social distancing and an array of other hygiene measures will also come into play.

GVC president Mark Smith is rather overjoyed to resume ‘real’ competitive action, thanks to the assistance of Sports Commission relationship manager Steve Sharman and Health & Social Care.

‘We are looking forward to getting back out on the real roads and getting started again,’ said Smith. ‘I think everybody’s champing at the bit to start racing again.’

Among the numerous anti-coronavirus measures taken, the fastest riders will be seeded to start first and intervals between riders will be extended to two minutes, with the intention to eliminate overtaking.

Smith also admitted that such events will likely be a very frequent occurrence, with the odd mountain-bike ‘TT’ also feasible, as GVC attempts to catch up on nine weeks of lost fixtures.

‘We are planning to do a time-trial Saturday and Sunday for the next six weeks, or until we get to the next phase, where team sports are allowed,’ he added while noting that they will reintroduce conventional racing once contact sports are allowed.

‘We will get back to as close to normal as we can with the restrictions that are in place and consider how that corresponds with what we want to do.’

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