Island Games 2015: Tobyn Horton out of Guernsey cycling team

Tobyn Horton
Tobyn Horton had not lost a town criterium race at the Island Games since 2005

Guernsey's top cyclist Tobyn Horton has pulled out of the Island Games because of a virus.

The 28-year-old rides professionally with the British-based Madison Genesis team and has won criterium gold in the last three Island Games he has entered.

Earlier this month, he helped his team

"He felt if he came down he'd not be in great shape, so he felt he should step down and give someone else a chance," said cycling manager Gary Wallbridge.

Horton Tweeted:external-link "Absolutely gutted to be missing the Island Games in Jersey due to a virus I picked up after Tour Series."

Horton's place will be taken by Steve Dawes, who is one of three reserve riders picked by the Guernsey cycling team.

Tobyn Horton
2007: Wins first gold medal in town criterium.
2011: Retains criterium title and gets team silver medals in the road race, time trial and criterium.
2013: Adds third criterium gold, wins road race and takes team road race gold. Also wins team time trial silver.

"These guys ride their bikes every day, so having not ridden it for two weeks and not likely to ride for a few more days, he's in a poor state of mind," Wallbridge added to to BBC Guernsey.

Horton did not take part in the 2009 Island Games, but in 2007, 2011 and 2013 he has won a total of five gold and four silver medals.

His withdrawal, along with leading women's rider Jo Watts recovering from a road accident earlier this year in which she broke 11 bones, means Guernsey's cycling team is unlikely to repeat its recent success.

In Bermuda two years ago, the island's cyclists won seven of the 13 gold medals on offer, while they won six golds in the Isle of Wight in 2011.

"We're not going to go there with as strong a team as we have over the last two games," said Wallbridge. "But we'll be competitive, we'll have some new riders in there, and it'll be a good experience for all of them."