Team official Gary Wallbridge has confirmed the pre-selection of a dozen cyclists for the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games, which ensures them a place provided they remain healthy and committed to the sport.
Overall, 20 cyclists are set to make up the Games squad – five men and five women apiece for both road and mountain biking – so the remaining riders are fighting for just eight spots total, which prompted Wallbridge to state bluntly: ‘There’s quite a few that will be disappointed.’
Commonwealth Games cyclists Sam Culverwell and Marc Cox are set to fly the flag for the men’s road team, leaving three spaces to be filled, while the quartet of Karina Jackson, Danielle Hanley, Hannah Brehaut and Helena Duguid have achieved women’s pre-selection.
Although it is wholly unsurprising that experienced Commonwealth Games men James Roe and Mike Serafin have achieved mountain bike pre-selection, Brad Vaudin’s rapid improvements have made him another worthy pick.
Kylie Vaudin, Jade Packham and Jamy Petit-Fulgoni have been pre-selected for women’s mountain-biking, which has become a real area of interest for female development cyclists – so much so that five are contesting the final two places.
‘We can take a maximum of 20 and we are looking at taking 20,’ Wallbridge said.
‘We are looking for five road men and women, and five mountain bike men and women, and we have got the numbers to do it.
‘We have got such great strength in depth for the men’s road team that we are targeting a final selection of three riders from the remaining six. On the men’s mountain bike we have selected three and we are looking for two more out of six remaining.’
As pre-selected cyclists complete their winter training with some extra peace of mind, those in the wider picture will be building form and preparing to make a point in spring 2023.
Wallbridge expects the final cut of the cycling team to be made in late April.