James McLaughlin forced out of Guernsey cycling team

James McLaughlin

French-based professional James McLaughlin has pulled out of Guernsey's Island Games cycling team.

The 22 year-old is needed by his Sojasun-Espoir team for a stage race straight after the event in Bermuda.

"Coming from the other side of the world he doesn't want to leave it until the last minute to get back and then hit a stage race," said Guernsey Velo Club president Gary Wallbridge.

Phil Touzeau, has been selected to replace McLaughlin in July.

"Ten days out in Bermuda is not the best preparation for his stage race the following week," Wallbridge added to BBC Guernsey.

"Due to his commitments with his French team he has reluctantly had to back out."

But Wallbridge says it is a good opportunity for Touzeau, who was a reserve rider in 2011.

"Phil narrowly missed out on the Isle of Wight two years ago so he knows what it's like to not be selected."

But Guernsey's other professional rider, Tobyn Horton, will race for the island after being given clearance to compete by his UK Youth team.

Guernsey cycling team for 2013 Island Games

Men's road team: Tobyn Horton, Phil Touzeau, Matt Osborn, Josh Gosselin, Aaron Bailey. Reserve: Alex Wilson

Men's mountain bike team: Rob Smart, James Roe, Andy Colver, Mike Serafin, Danny Shaw. Reserves: Gary Robert and Geoff Gibson

Women's road team: Ann Bowditch, Karina Bowie, Marina Bleasdale. Reserve Bethan Haines

Women's mountain bike team: Charlotte Le Lievre

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