Horton among 20-plus riders to declare interest in Guernsey 2023

AN INTRIGUING and wide-open contest is shaping up for Guernsey 2023 Island Games mountain-biking spots.

Former professional cyclist Tobyn Horton is one of many riders to have declared an interest in competing in the mountain biking at the Guernsey 2023 Island Games. (30132722)
Former professional cyclist Tobyn Horton is one of many riders to have declared an interest in competing in the mountain biking at the Guernsey 2023 Island Games. (30132722)

In fact, team official and former Velo Club president Gary Wallbridge has never seen quite so many riders put their names in the hat for potential selection.

Selectors recently asked cyclists for declarations of interest in the home Games, with former road professional Tobyn Horton being one surprising name among the 13 men and eight women in this early mountain-biking picture.

Many of these riders showed their credentials in a well-attended season opener at Les Norgiots last weekend – where James Roe and Kylie Vaudin defended their status as Guernsey’s No. 1 male and female off-roaders – ahead of a busy build-up that for many will also include off-island racing.

‘We have got over 20 riders who are working for mountain bike selection, each trying their best to get onto the team,’ Wallbridge said of a figure that is slightly larger than that seen at a comparable moment two years ago.

‘We had quite a number for the last Guernsey Island Games that never happened ... but I think in terms of numbers from previous years, we have never been quite as big.

‘I think there’s a degree of interest because it’s a local Games.’

On both the male and female end are several newer faces, with Wallbridge highlighting U16 riders Chay Kennedy-Cook and Dan Clark as potential contenders who have benefited from the home Games’ two-year postponement due to Covid.

‘Their target is to displace some riders who are already up there,’ he said.

‘They have got 18 months to grow, so they might well displace one of our established riders.

‘We have got a huge number of riders here, and none of them would disgrace being in the team.’

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