The Isle of Man’s road cyclists claimed three medals in the men’s and women’s road races at the NatWest Island Games in Jersey on Tuesday.
Nathan Draper clinched a silver medal after being pipped to the line at the end of the men’s race as the Manx quintet sealed the team gold medal, while Lizzie Holden secured her second silver medal of the week in the women’s road race later the same day.
Having claimed bronze in the individual time trial earlier in the week Draper went into the event as one of the favourites to claim victory, only to be scuppered late on by having to ride a junior bike up against seniors.
Riders under the age of 18 are required to compete using junior gears in order to protect their leg muscles and, at the age of 17, Draper was just a few weeks shy of competing on a level footing.
Despite that, the talented RST rider was to the fore throughout the eight-lap race over a 13.96-kilometre route along the east coast of Jersey - the Tour de Bretagne course - as he and then team-mate Ed Perry got into a lead group of riders in the opening few laps.
They gradually built up a lead of more than three minutes, with Perry doing his best to protect his young team-mate in sweltering heat as temperatures soared over the 30-degree mark.
Behind them, Team Isle of Man’s Robin Garry was part of a two-man chase group in between the leaders and the peloton as he bid to help his colleagues in their bid for individual and team glory.
With a slight downhill approach to the finish, a fast sprint was almost inevitable and so it proved as Draper’s junior gears seemingly proved decisive.
Mihkel Raim from Saaremaa got the jump on the Manx cyclist and claimed the victory by roughly a bike length, as Draper cut a frustrated figure as he crossed the line despite clinching an an impressive silver medal.
Perry finished in fourth place behind Torkil Veyhe (Faroe Islands) while Garry was sixth just after fifth place Christian Spence (Jersey), Leon Mazzone was 12th with Tom Black 24th, thus doing enough to secure the team gold medal.
The women’s road race took place later the same day in the evening and saw Lizzie Holden, who won silver in the individual time trial on Sunday, being the Isle of Man’s sole representative after team-mate Anna Christian pulled out earlier in the week.
The road race saw Holden and Jersey’s Kimberly Ashton - who denied Lizzie gold in the time trial on Sunday - form a two-rider breakaway which stayed clear until the end when Ashton soloed to victory.