Crushing blow won’t stop de Ste Croix

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We were having lunch when we heard a loud crunch and everyone started to laugh,’ he said.

‘We joined in, until I realised that it was my bike under his car.

An elderly French driver had wedged it under some railings.

The frame is bent, the gears are wrecked and the brakes won’t work.

There’s no way I can use it in the Island Games.’After sorting out insurance details with the Frenchman, on his return to Jersey de Ste Croix made a phone call to America and on Thursday a brand new bike was made for him which was then shipped out to Bermuda to arrive there today.It will be taken to Guernsey with the Bermudan Island Games squad who fly to the island, via Jersey, on Wednesday.

”I’d spent a lot of money on my bike,’ de Ste Croix said.

‘I’ve taken it to be repaired but, from now on, I’ll only use it to train on.

The frame is buckled.’De Ste Croix, who was educated at La Moye junior school and Les Quennevais, has lived in Bermuda for over 14 years where he has established himself not just as a mountain biker, but as a triathlete.For five years in a row he was their triathlete of the year and he regularly coaches up to 60 club members between the ages of seven and 19.However, while triathlon is a recognised sport in Bermuda, mountain biking is a relative newcomer.

It was only three years ago that their cycling association endorsed the sport, and began to encourage both junior and senior riders to take it up.De Ste Croix made NatWest Island Games selection after doing well in Bermuda’s eight-race mountain bike winter series and for the last few months he and his team mates have been training mainly in the island’s national parks, as well as competing in America.”I competed in the Bradbury Mountain Classic race in Maine two weeks ago which was a 22 mile race through a pretty wet and muddy forest,’ he said.

‘The race took just over two hours but provided a good training session for Herm, although I understand that Herm is not an overly technical course.’The Maine course was was very technical.

None of the team has represented Bermuda at mountain biking before, so this will be a ground-breaking exercise.’Apart from the incident with his ruined bike, de Ste Croix has been enjoying his stay in Jersey which he has treated as an extended holiday with wife Claire and two and a half-year old twins Cameron and Max.He also has a family tradition to maintain in terms of the Games explaining: ‘My brother Ian was a gold medallist in cycling in 1989.

I’d like to emulate him, but I have no idea what the competition will be like once I get to Guernsey.’

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