NATWEST ISLAND GAMES: Cruel on Cox – but it's a double silver
JERSEY’S women added another two silvers to their cycling prize pot at the NatWest Island Games on Tuesday night, courtesy of Florence Cox and Co in Gibraltar.
Town criterium runners-up on Sunday, the four-strong squad appeared on the podium again at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar, below winners Isle of Man, with Cox also taking second spot in the individual standings.
However, Cox was dealt a crushing blow after reaching the summit, with the Caesarean being told she had missed out on gold by just 1.15 seconds after clocking 46min 12.06 sec.
‘I really did want gold,’ said Cox.
‘It’s hard to pace that hill. You have no idea when you turn round a hairpin – it gets steeper and steeper. When I finished I did feel like I could have gone harder so it is frustrating that is only few seconds [between gold and silver].
‘I’m happy we’re in the medals – team and individual – but I did want that gold.’
Eventual champion Becky Storrie – the first to start and first to finish for Isle of Man – collapsed after the finish line and the casualties kept on coming for Games medics.
They barely had time to deal with one cyclist before another in need arrived, but there were no serious consequences and the smiles for Jersey’s quartet in particular were soon showing.
Rebecca Catley [49.39.46] and Louise Woolrich [49.53.29] took seventh and eighth respectively in the women’s standings, with Emily Bridson finishing 11th in 50.36.79.
Catley arrived at the top with the fourth-fastest time at that point and she held onto that position for a while as rival after rival crossed the line. She may have ended the evening further down, but her ranking was still enough to steer Jersey to second place.
‘I’m pleased it’s done,’ she said.
‘It was a killer but it helped having people all the way along saying “keep going”, you just had to grit your teeth and push on.’
‘I was hoping to do a bit better, but there we go.’
Just over an hour later the men had their turn at tackling the steepest incline available in Island Games cycling, but Jersey were left without silverware again.
Jack Rebours was the Island’s best-placed rider in seventh [38.54.17], with the team taking fourth behind bronze medallists Guernsey. Saaremaa, helped by professional Mihkel Raim, took silver with Isle of Man earning gold again.
‘It’s probably up there as one of the hardest rides I’ve had on a bike,’ said Rebours.
‘There were short sharp climbs and a couple of fast descents before the hill and you were either recovering or climbing. You were never constant.
‘The [power] numbers I thought I’d be able to push up the hill when we rode the “recon” – I was nowhere near that today. The hill is just a beast. At one point you’re just trying to stay moving and it was an absolute fight coming up there.
‘I was second last time but it’s fair to say that was course suited me more than today. But to be honest I don’t think I could have given anything more.’
Rhys Pilley led by over 30 seconds for some time before being knocked down to eighth [39.01.09], while former footballer David Le Roux [40.33.33] and Rhys Hidrio [40.34.55] took 16th and 17th respectively behind Sam Firby, who claimed 15th in 40.24.81.
Firby was knocked out of contention in the criterium on Sunday by a lapped rider, who sent Firby into the barriers. No direct contact was made with a pedestrian in the collision, as reported yesterday.
Guernsey’s Sam Culverwell pushed himself to exhaustion to take silver in 37.50.24.