Cycling and beach volleyball given Gibraltar 2019 Island Games reprieve

Kim Ashton
Jersey's Kim Ashton won gold in every road cycling event in Jersey last year

Cycling will be included in the sports for the 2019 Island Games in Gibraltar, organisers have announced.

The sport was initially dropped from the programme of events when Gibraltar were given the right to host the event after Menorca pulled out.

Football and volleyball, which had featured in every games since they began in 1985, were also dropped.

However, beach volleyball will now be included, although there are no facilities for indoor volleyball.

"There will not be any mountain biking, but there will be a road race, time trial and criterium included in the Gibraltar games, which is good news," Guernsey Island Games Association chairman Brian Allen told BBC Radio Guernsey.

"There were concerns about that very small island, but they were very reassuring, they gave an excellent presentation," he added.

Guernsey Velo Club's development officer Paul Brehaut says the competition for places in 2019 will be even greater, with some of the island's top mountain bikers vying for places in the road race team:

"There'll be no definite five spots for the boys, that's for sure," he told BBC Radio Guernsey,

"There's a couple of guys like James Rowe and Mike Serafin who are very competitive on the road every weekend that they race. Mike's a very good sprinter, James is a fantastic climber, so that's two that will be in the mix for the road team for sure."

The news came during the annual meeting of the International Island Games Association, where Guernsey were confirmed as hosts for the 2021 event.