‘An inspiration to young female cyclists’ – Tributes to Josephine Gilbert after her death at 25

The cycling community has been shocked by the death of the bike racer

(Image credit: Andy Jones)

Tributes have been paid to racing cyclist and "inspiration" Josephine Gilbert after her death earlier this month.

The 25-year-old, who raced across the UK and at international level, died after she was hit by a lorry while riding near Derby.

Josephine was knocked off her bike just after 2pm on Tuesday, January 21 and died at the scene while the driver of the lorry was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital as a precaution.

News of Josephine’s death has resonated amongst her friends, former team-mates, and the wider cycling world.

James Smith from Primal cycling clothing, which used to sponsor Josephine’s team, said: “Incredibly shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Josie Gilbert.

“Josie rode for our Starley-Primal team back in 2015. I remember how strong she was on our Spanish training camp.

“My thoughts are with her family at this time.”

Racing team Jadan-Vive Le Velo said: “It’s hard to know what to say and how devastated we all are by the passing of this beautiful, talented woman.

“RIP Jose Gilbert, our team-mate. May you always have a tailwind.”

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Coaching company 42 Degrees said on Facebook: “As a rider who was once part of VC St Raphael with the rest of us, you’ll always be remembered fondly and the soft nature you had off the bike never matched the ferocity you showed on the bike.

“Condolences to all her friends and family.”

Jill Lomax: “I had the pleasure of knowing and riding with Josie when she first started out. She was a quiet, unassuming young lady who loved her cycling from the very beginning, turning up with trainers and leggings.

“She was and should remain an inspiration for all young female cyclists. She really was a bright star. RIP Josie, I'll miss your determined posts. Heartfelt condolences to all her family and those close to her.”

Jenny Taylor added: "Such terrible news. Remember Josie from racing with Beth on Biemme, she was a lovely kind, beautiful, young lady.

“Our thoughts are with her family at this saddest of times.”

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Josephine’s racing career saw her take part in a number of prestigious national and international events.

In 2015 she started both the women’s edition of Ghent-Wevelgem and the Troffee Maarten Wynants in Belgium, going on to finish 29th in the women’s British TT Championships and 41st in the road race (won by Lizzie Deignan).

The following year she raced the one-day Women’s Tour de Yorkshire and finished 57th in the British Nationals road race.

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She raced for the Velosure-Starley Primal Pro Cycling Team and took part in time trials across the UK, including a 19th place finish in the 2015 National Hill Climb Championships.

Josephine was also an active Strava user, posting 7,768km over 201 rides in 2019, with a total distance of 59,000km and more than 1,300 rides on the social media app.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.