'Cycling saved my life': Man aims to be first Scot to win Tour de France

Josh Quigley, 30, originally from Livingston, attempted to take his own life in 2015.

Cyclist brought back from brink aims to be first Scottish Tour de France winner PA Media

A cyclist hoping to be the first Scottish winner of the Tour de France will be the subject of a new documentary showcasing his journey through a major bout of depression to breaking a world record.

Josh Quigley, 30, originally from Livingston, attempted to take his own life in 2015.

But despite not having cycled since he was a child, he got on a bike and has never looked back.

He soon started to set himself challenges, including one to cycle round the world.

During his attempt in 2019, he was cycling through Texas in the US when he was hit by a car travelling at 70 miles per hour.

And while some may have treated it as a major setback, Mr Quigley said the first thing he asked when he woke up the next day was when could he get back on his bike.

Josh Quigley looks at the bike that was smashed in a crash in Texas in 2019.

He said: “When I had the crash and I woke up in hospital the next day, I was asking the doctors and nurses ‘when can I get back on my bike because I want to go and finish my challenge and finish cycling round the world’.

“I was very determined and very committed to doing it, I really fell in love with cycling on that challenge.

“I had an amazing mindset and it really helped me recover.

“I think that’s why I recovered so quickly.”

His experience has inspired a new documentary made for BBC Scotland called Cycling Saved My Life.

Josh Quigley with his fiancee Megan at their flat.

The documentary, which makers promise will be “emotional and uplifting”, follows Mr Quigley’s journey over six months as he attempted to qualify for the UCI World Championships in Glasgow next month.

He finally completed his ambition to cycle around the world in 2021 and broke the world record for the longest distance cycled in one day.

Now living in Glasgow, Mr Quigley gives motivational speeches at schools and colleges, but his main focus in racing and competing.

He added: “The long-term dream and goal for me is to try to make it to the highest level of cycling so that I can reach the Tour de France.

“I think for me to get to the Tour de France would be such an amazing story and I really believe I am capable of doing it so that’s what I want to try and do.”

Josh Quigley (L) and Jordan Laird (R) who made the documentary Cycling Saved My Life about Mr Quigley’s journey.

Mr Quigley missed out on the Glasgow championships, but said the setback “only made me stronger”.

He hopes the documentary will help people have open conversations about suicide and mental health.

He added: “Cycling is my purpose now, and I’m giving it absolutely everything – I’ve missed out on the championships in Glasgow but, like every setback in life, that’s only made me stronger.”

The documentary was made by Studio Something and directed by co-founder Jordan Laird.

He said: “There’s a moment in the documentary when Josh talks about looking at a pint of lager and asking: ‘There must be more to life than this?’

“That brought home how universal this story is. Josh could have been one of my mates, I know so many people feel like him, who experience mental health issues but don’t talk about it.

“This is a story of the transformative power of sport, of how sport can save someone’s life.

“It’s a regular guy putting every ounce into something. Watching him has had a huge impact on my life and I think his story will have a huge impact on others. It’s been a long time in the making, and I can’t wait for people to see it.”

The documentary will air on BBC One at 7.30pm on Friday July 28.

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

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