In memory of Alex Jones - 27.9.1988 – 30.3.2019

In memory of Alex Jones - 27.9.1988 – 30.3.2019

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“Alex had a natural zest and enthusiasm for life. Realising that the journey is more important than the outcome, he had the confidence and self-belief to put 100% into that journey and be the best he could. He achieved much and gave even more. He leaves rich and happy memories with his family, friends, and all those whose lives he enhanced” 

Alex Jones was a keen cyclist from Denbighshire, North Wales who tragically collapsed and died whilst out riding his bike. Born and brought up on Anglesey until the family moved in 2016, the death of this much loved member of the local community was a huge shock to his family and the North Wales cycling community.

Alex’s life was tragically cut short whilst taking part in a sport he loved and excelled at. Prior to his death in 2019 he had been progressing well in cycling and local competitions, but after contracting a virus which resulted in some scar tissue on his heart, Alex was urged to stay off the bike for a few months to allow his heart tissue to repair.

There was no family history of any underlying heart condition and having received favourable medical reports in early 2019 he resumed leisure cycling, whilst awaiting the final all clear to return to competition. On 30th March, on a sunny Spring Saturday, he went out for a ride along one of his favourite Denbighshire routes. He suffered a cardiac arrest just 20 minutes into his ride.

After his death, to help understand more, Alex’s heart was donated for research to the team led by Professor Mary Sheppard, Cardiac Pathologist at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, London. Her research supports CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) in their work to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research. 

The 30th March will mark the one year anniversary of Alex’s passing. On 28th March the cycling community and those who knew and loved Alex will take part in his memorial ride which will follow and complete the route that Alex was taking 12 months previous. Starting and finishing at Alex’s home the ride will go through Rhuddlan, St Asaph, along the A525 and B5381 to Betws yn Rhos, up Dolwen Hill, Black Cat roundabout, turning right through Mochdre onto the Promenade and back

“30 years old is too young to die but although his life was short it was a rich full life. It has been said by several people that he lived more in his few years than many do in a lifetime,” said his parents, Gareth & Audrey.

Looking back through Alex’s life, sport was a constant fixture. Growing up he played football and golf. Then at age 15 the kart racing took over. He became British ‘O’ Plate Champion in 2006 going on to motor racing from 2008 to 2012.  He was racing in the Indy Lights Championship, USA when his team lost their major sponsor forcing him to cut short his season.

As part of his motorsport training, cycling was a constant and when his team folded, Alex swapped four wheels for two and the cycling bug took over. He joined the famous Sunday Tea Room Rides with Gareth McGuiness, Gareth Hind, Colin and others of the Energy and Club Rasio Mona riders. It was on those rides that he was encouraged to have a go at cycle racing.

2013 was the first year cycling really took over as he started racing competitively and progressed upwards through the British Cycling racing categories. By 2016 he had achieved Cat 1 status.

His proudest achievement in road racing was his win in the 2014 Avanti Gas 2 day race, winning both the final stage and overall winner. He also came 3rd at our Welsh TT Championships in 2018, another proud moment for him.

Alex always enjoyed sketching and painting so during his enforced rest from cycling he picked up his paintbrush and started painting again. Audrey said: “Absorbing himself in painting helped distract him from the frustration of not cycling.”

Just one week prior to his death Alex displayed some of his work at an exhibition in Macclesfield.  Limited edition have been made available for sale, the proceeds going to CRY.

The Alex Jones CRY Memorial Fund has been set up with the aim of funding specific screening programmes for young people in North West Wales to identify and treat those at risk:

The memorial ride takes place on the 28th March 10:00 – 13:00. A sale of Alex’s cycling equipment will follow the ride. All proceeds to Alex’s CRY Memorial Fund.

Tributes for Alex

Alex was unique, the perfect gentleman both on and off the bike but with a ruthless competitive streak defining him as a true racer. As a friend he was thoughtful, supportive, and always enthusiastic but the bit of Alex that always stood out was his positivity. His cup wasn’t just half full, it was filled to the brim! As a rider he was everyone’s friend and while he raced at the highest level he always had time for everyone, a chat and a cheeky grin was his thing.

On a personal note I owe Alex a lot, he steered my cycling career towards better things, encouraging me to get a coach back in 2014 and being the first person to sponsor me with some stunning Spada wheels. As clichéd as it may sound, his sudden and tragic passing has taught me to treasure every minute with loved ones, live in the moment and to never waste a second to negativity. He is missed, more than he would ever have known.” Dan Evans, Welsh Cyclist   

“Alex was one of the most dedicated, hardworking, and coach-able people I've ever worked with. He was also exceptionally talented, and was able to turn his hand to any number of things. He had a laser beam focus on what he wanted, yet an easy-going manner that endeared him to people. A rare breed indeed. A truly fantastic guy that so many people will miss.” Mike Garth, Sports Psychologist