‘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

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.

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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.”

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.”

View this post on Instagram

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 ❤️ @gemsar80 wrote beautiful words which I’ll post below Another angel gained her wings. A team mate and friend, my thoughts are with her family Rest in peace 💔 Very true words from a fellow rider : ‘You see the stories on the news. You read the articles on the web. You hear through word of mouth that a friend of a friend in your local club has an off. You never expect it to be someone you know. You never expect it to happen to you.’ Absolutely heartbreaking. True character, and yet another young cyclist lost. Still no words, don’t know what to think 😞 Please please please don’t try to squeeze through that gap you think may be there. Wait that extra minute to pass safely. We’re not out to annoy you I swear, we’re just training, a hobby, a job, a lifestyle, not a death wish!’

A post shared by Jadan-Vive le Velo (@teamjadan) on

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.