Solo winner Cox cashes in on rival Roe’s misfortune

TWO relatively new winners – Marc Cox and Chantal Green – broke the opposition with a show of real strength and stamina at L’Eree early yesterday.

James Roe leads Marc Cox through the lap point. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28562045)
James Roe leads Marc Cox through the lap point. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28562045)

Cox defeated a small but high-quality Division One pack for his first road race victory of the season, while Green successfully backed up her maiden ladies’ triumph from last month.

Cox’s victory also came at record speed, on a rare occasion where the wind favoured riders favourable on the coast from L’Eree to Pleinmont.

Division One would normally tackle six 7.7-mile circuits but the addition of a seventh barely blunted the pace and en route to a 2hrs 8min. 52sec. finish, he removed two minutes from the previous six-lap best.

Yet only in the late stages did he get a firm upper hand on James Roe.

The two broke to a promising 10sec. lead after three laps, which doubled on the next passing and then again after a particularly nippy fifth lap.

Cox hit the bell in circa 1-50 – an unprecedented clip.

But there was a glaring lack of Roe as four chasers zipped into view 1min. back. He soon pedalled in with a telling mechanical issue.

Cox soldiered on solo, but who would follow?

That was, surprisingly, teenager Jack Reed.

First-season road racer Reed clocked 2-10-04 in outsprinting experienced all-rounder Mike Serafin, plus Jack English and Matt Osborn.

‘I’ve managed to win a crit and I’ve managed to win a “TT”, but this is the first road race win of the year,’ said Cox afterwards.

‘I got helped out massively by James and when he had his mechanical, it left me out on my own – there was a really good partnership going.

‘I’m glad to get a road race win, that’s for sure. I’ve been trying all sorts of different tactics and this one paid off.’

The Division Three field, as usual, blended some of Guernsey’s top women and an enthusiastic second string of men.

Dan O’Hara took overall honours over five laps, but towards the tail of a large and primarily male bunch came Green.

She had unwittingly dropped rivals Maddie Wilson and Ann Bowditch on lap four by pursuing a break driven by the men, and she did not look back from there.

The former triathlete eventually finished nearly 3min. clear of Wilson and Bowditch.

‘Really happy with today’s result,’ said Green, who felt that the extra lap played in her favour.

‘I just thought I’d try and hang on with the guys as long as possible for the sprint.

‘I’d prefer a hill sprint, not a flat one, but I just really enjoyed it – another one in the bag.’

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