Report and photos: Richard Allen
Stage 3: Sunday 4 May
Matthew Gibson (Velocity WD-40) won the third and final stage in the junior category of the Sleepwell Hotels Isle of Man Youth Tour on Sunday.
He won a two-up sprint against Nathan Draper (RST Racing Team) at the end of the 92km road race around Ramsey in the north east of the Island. Joe Holt (Team Wales) led in the peloton 20 seconds behind the stage winner to take third place.
In misty and blustery conditions the riders faced six laps of a 15.4km circuit on which the toughest test was the long drag to the village of Bride. Three riders went clear with three laps to go - Fabian Brennan (Velocity WD-40), Louis Modell (Catford CC Equipe Banks), and Gabriel Cullaig (RST Racing Team). Their lead was never much more than 30 seconds.
Yellow jersey holder Joe Evans (HARIBO Beacon Cycling Team) and his teammates were to the fore in the peloton making it difficult for the escapees to establish a decisive advantage. On the last climb to Bride the leading trio were about to be reeled in by the bunch when Gibson chose his moment to attack. Only Draper was able to go with him and the two worked well together and arrived on Ramsey Promenade alone.
Gibson won the sprint convincingly and after the race was quick to say thanks to his team mates for helping him to secure his first road race win in the National Junior Series. The Velocity WD-40 squad marked a number of attacks in addition to having Brennan in the three man break.
Gibson won Friday’s prologue time-trial and was sixth on GC going into the final stage, 40 seconds behind Evans who won stage two.
Despite a valiant effort, the 20 seconds Gibson gained on stage three, plus the 10 seconds time bonus for winning the stage, was not enough to erase the deficit. Evans won the general classification with a total time of five hours, four minutes and 44 seconds; Matthew Bostock (Team Isle of Man) was second at six seconds and Gibson third at ten seconds.
Stage 2: Saturday 3 May
Joe Evans (HARIBO Beacon) won stage two in the junior category of the Sleepwell Hotels Isle of Man Youth Tour which took place on Saturday morning.
He finished three seconds ahead of Alex Dalton (Squadra RT) and four seconds clear of Matthew Bostock (Team Isle of Man). The 102km race featured 11 laps of a hilly 9.3km circuit around Peel on the west coast of the Island.
The top three went clear in an eight-man breakaway on the second lap with the group riding well to build an advantage which peaked at just over 1:30. Race leader Matthew Gibson (Velocity/WD-40), who had won yesterday’s prologue time-trial, missed the break which gave the escapees every incentive to work together.
Approaching the bell Evans attacked on the penultimate ascent of the short but steep switchback climb which had the finish line at its summit. His attack shattered the breakaway group and he held on to a three-second advantage on the final climb to the finish.
Behind him, Dalton and Bostock sprinted for second place - and behind them in fourth and fifth places respectively were Dutchman Jelle Nieuwport (Sleepwell Hotels Viking Waterland) and Joey Walker (RST Racing Team) who had both been in the eight-man break.
Sixth place went to Oliver Maxwell (Windmill Wheels CC) who finished 33 seconds behind the stage winner. The peloton, which included Matthew Gibson, came in 36 seconds behind the stage winner. Time bonuses were given to the first six finishers - 10s, 7s, 5s, 3s, 2s and 1s.
At the time of writing the stage was a provisional result and subject to review by the race Commissaires following a number of riders being given time penalties due to failing to failing to observe the rules of the road. General classification standings were also yet to be confirmed at the time of writing.
The third and final stage in the junior category is on Sunday and will be held over six laps of a 15.4km circuit around Ramsey in the north east of the Island on Sunday morning. A total distance of 92.6km.
Stage 1: Friday May 2
Matthew Gibson (Velocity/WD-40) won the Junior Boys race in Friday evening’s prologue time trial which marked the start of the Isle of Man Junior Tour, part of the British Cycling National Junior Circuit Race Series.
It was the second year in a row that Gibson had won the 1.29km race against the clock on Douglas Promenade which this year was raced under perfect conditions for time trialling with dry roads and no wind. He clocked 1-37.211sec with Leon Gledhill (Team Wallis CHH RT) second in 1-39.948sec, and Joe Holt (Team Wales) third in 1-40.000sec exactly.
Saturday’s second stage for junior riders is a 102km race featuring 11 laps of a hilly 9.3km circuit around Peel on the west coast of the Island. The finish line is at the top of the short but steep Switchback climb and In recent years the stage has usually proved to be decisive in determining the overall winner of the junior category.
Stage three in the junior category is held over six laps of a 15.4km circuit around Ramsey in the north east of the Island on Sunday morning. A total distance of 92.6km.