Island Games champion James Roe was the man to beat at the Guernsey Velo Club's mountain bike cross-country winter series opener.

He showed his class to head up the 35-strong field in heavy conditions on the German Underground Hospital course.

Mike Serafin and Andy Colver finished behind him in second and third in the elite race after an hour of riding.

Nor Holden was the women's winner with six more rounds of the series to come.

Roe told ITV News he thinks the turnout was buoyed by the return of mountain biking to the Island Games for Guernsey 2021.

It was cut from the schedule in Gibraltar this summer which led some riders, including the 2017 cross-country winner himself, to focus on the road.

We've obviously made a long list of people who want to be selected and there's more names on it than I've ever seen, which is great because it pushes everyone on. There's guys who can do the road and the mountain bike so the more people racing the more people are trying to get better, it pushes everyone up so really looking forward to the next 18 months.

James Roe, Guernsey rider
  • Watch: Riders tackle the German Underground Hospital course in the winter series opener