‘Outsider’ Wright signs off her hols with record run

SURPRISE entrant Jamie-Lee Wright shattered a prestigious record during a fine double at the rarely-staged Rocquaine Regatta hill climb.

Welcome sight: The London-based Jamie-Lee Wright sails up the Rue des Valniquets climb. (Picture by Martin Gray, 29823476)
Welcome sight: The London-based Jamie-Lee Wright sails up the Rue des Valniquets climb. (Picture by Martin Gray, 29823476)

Wright had never raced a bike on Sarnian soil before. But make no mistake, she is a Guernsey girl and has been turning heads in the domestic cycling set-up for three years.

After leaving for Bermuda many moons ago as a non-cyclist, Wright began bike racing in 2018, making such an impression that she ended up in Guernsey’s team at the Gibraltar 2019 Island Games.

She moved to London last September – and we may soon be seeing more of her.

The Guernsey 2023 hopeful, who is on CC London’s development team and runs an elite women’s Zwift squad, has just finished a several-week holiday on these shores.

Before flying back, she signed off by beating Kylie Vaudin and Karina Bowie in a Friday night double-bill.

Competitors tackled two separate climbs – the ‘Rocquaine’ route up the Rue des Villains main road, then the ‘Imperial’, following the quieter Rue des Valniquets.

Wright stunned everyone in the opener, clocking 1min. 52.2sec. to remove 2.2sec. from a women’s record set by Ann Bowditch in 2006, the year of her third national hill-climb title.

Vaudin, 17, rode 2-05.4 as Bowie clocked 2-08.0 to beat the veteran women’s standard.

Hill two proved much tighter as Wright edged victory in 1-37.3, just 0.1sec. clear of Vaudin, while Bowie posted 1-47.8.

‘I loved it – love and hate it,’ Wright said.

‘It’s the nerves before any race, but I like a challenge, and that’s why we’re all here, isn’t it?

‘It’s great just having people around you to support you and spur you on, which I wasn’t expecting because I’m an outsider, but they made me feel so comfortable.

‘I’ve never had my own record, so I’m really happy with that.’

Adam Torode won the overall ‘Rocquaine’ honours in 1-34.0, but just 0.5sec. back came Josh Saunders with a ride quick enough to snatch the U18 record from former professional James McLaughlin.

Phil Touzeau, Oscar Webber and Alex Ward were well-matched around 1-48.

Young Saunders followed up with an outstanding 1-13.8 ride to beat the outright ‘Imperial’ record. That gave him a clear win from Torode’s 1-17.3 and a close result between Webber and Ward, both mid 1-27s.

Greg Robert smashed the over-60 record on both hills with 2-14.7 and 1-44.0.

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