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Western Isles Island Games Association
Comann Geamannan Eileanach nan Eilean Siar
 

   Jersey Cycling 2015   

Cycling Team News

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Tough day for the guys at the MTB XC Race

Paul, John Neil and Donald before their race
Paul, John Neil and Donald before their race

The Team WIIGA mountain bike XC guys were racing over the same course as the women had done so well on earlier in the day - it was grassy with tough technical, dusty descents and steep climbs and Kerry's rock garden! The weather was sunny and even hotter than it had been earlier - with 11 laps to ride this was going to be a tough day at the races.

Donald made the best start
Donald just after the start

Despite being third in the Western Isles line at the start, Donald got off the line best, overtook both his team-mates and made it to the first corner well up the field. Sadly for him, he came off on one of the tricky descents, used his arm to brake his fall and broke his wrist. He soldiered on but had to pull out at the end of the next lap - one down!

Paul and John Neil just after the start
Paul and John Neil just after the start

The pace was relentlessly high and John Neil and Paul holding their own in the middle of the field. Then John Neil was missing as the riders passed throught the pit area. What had happened? Had he crashed out too? N0 - his chain had snapped as he powered up one of the steep climbs and he was out of the race. This was particularly galling as he had put on a new chain just before leaving Stornoway and this was only his 4th or 5th ride on it - talk about bad luck!

Paul was now our last man standing but things did not look good as he passed by at the end of the third lap. He signalled that he was all in and the cut-throat action suggested he was ready to pull out. He was already cramping up and the 30+ temperature was tough to deal with - especially as he was not even a third of the way through the race. But he is made of stern stuff and sheer willpower dragged him round lap after lap - he was not going to give in! He was running on empty but he knew he was our last man and that drove hiim on. He got into a man to man duel with a Bermudan rider - both were exhausted but neither would quit. First one would get ahead then the other - who would come out on top?

Paul riding one of the last corners of his race
Paul chasing down the Bermudan athlete

Half way round the last lap, Paul cramped so badly that he had to come off his bike and stretch out. Gavin shouted some words of encouragement and the crowd picked up on it. As Paul climbed back on his bike, the crowd started cheering and clapping and the valley echoed to the rythmic cries of Paul! Paul! Paul! and "Go Western Isles" - a wonderful gesture of respect for an athlete on the limit. Paul responded and sped up the slope to a huge round of applause a piece of showboating that he paid for for the rest of the lap!

He pushed on, fought off the challenge of his Bermudan rival and crossed the line totally spent. He had finished despite the heat, the cramp and the exhaustion - a superb effort.

 

 

Cycling Team
Kerry Macphee
Kerry Macphee
MTB

Kirsty Macphee
Kirsty Macphee
MTB

John Neil Mitchell
John Neil Mitchell
MTB

Paul Smith
Paul Smith
MTB

Donald MacRury
Donald MacRury
MTB

Craig McCulloch
Craig McCulloch
Road

Ruaraidh Michie
Gavin Earons
Team Manager


 
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Western Isles Island Games Association
Comann Geamannan Eileanach nan Eilean Siar