Guernsey Press

'Strongest ever' cycling squad finalised ahead of home Island Games

Guernsey's cycling squad for the fast-approaching home Island Games will be the ‘strongest we have had’.

Sam Culverwell (right) has been named road captain for the Games. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost)

That is the view of lead cycling team manager Alex Wilson, who has unveiled eight more competitors to back up the dozen riders pre-selected in the winter for the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games.

Guernsey now has five men and women apiece for each of the specialisms of road and mountain biking.

France-based teenager Jack Reed is among those who have recently made the grade for the men’s road team, which will be led by the pre-selected Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games duo of Marc Cox and Sam Culverwell.

Culverwell has also been named as road captain as he targets a repeat of his individual gold medal from Gibraltar 2019.

Downhill maestro John Mapley’s push to improve his cross-county fitness has resulted in him earning a coveted Games place, within a strong mountain-biking squad.

  • Podcast: Jack Reed was a recent guest on the Guernsey Press Sport Podcast

James Roe won individual gold at Gotland 2017 and, showing strong form for what he sees as a competitive swansong, recently claimed his first-ever SouthernXC elite victory. But the domestic top dogs have been tested by the promising Brad Vaudin, who also recently gained a SouthernXC crown.

From her London base, Jamie-Lee Wright has secured the last remaining spot in the women’s road team.

Karina Jackson captains the road team with her wealth of Island and Commonwealth Games experience, which contrasts with promising teenager Helena Duguid making her debut.

Women’s mountain biking has seen a real surge in interest and this has resulted in a squad composed almost entirely of debutantes.

Megan Dowinton has recently earned selection as the only returning Games cyclist, joining newbies Chloe Woods, Kylie Vaudin, Jade Packham and Jamy Petit-Fulgoni.

Vaudin is the domestic number one and, alongside many other Sarnian mountain bikers, has been very busy racing off-island in the build-up.

Wilson is very pleased with the final selection.

‘I truly believe that our cycling team for this Games is the strongest we have had, and it has a strength in depth that we have not had in the past too,’ he said.

‘I am very much looking forward to July.

‘I believe we can win a lot of medals, both individually and as a team.’

Guernsey Island Games cycling squad

Men’s road: Marc Cox, Sam Culverwell, Matt Osborn, Jack Reed and Alex Van Katwyk.

Women’s road: Hannah Brehaut, Helena Duguid, Dani Hanley, Karina Jackson and Jamie-Lee Wright.

Women’s mountain bike: Megan Dowinton, Jade Packham, Jamy Petit-Fulgoni, Kylie Vaudin and Chloe Woods.

Men’s mountain bike: Andy Colver, John Mapley, James Roe, Mike Serafin and Brad Vaudin.

Team managers: Alex Wilson, Andy Gibson, Tobyn Horton and Maddie Wilson.