Great Britain’s Tom Pidcock has won Olympic gold in the cross-country mountain bike race in Tokyo.
The 21-year-old Yorkshireman, a road rider with Ineos Grenadiers, started on the fourth row of the race.
But he quickly got himself into the leading group and powered his way past the Swiss pair of Mathias Flueckiger and Nino Schurter to take control on the fourth of seven laps.
Flueckiger was the only man who could even remotely keep up as Pidcock kept the power down to win by 20 seconds, having time to snatch a Union Flag and hold it aloft as he crossed the line.
When asked how it felt to win gold, Pidcock told Eurosport: “Not real really. It’s pretty crazy that I became an Olympian and I was trying to tell myself at the start of the race it’s special just to be here.”
His victory comes less than two months after he suffered a broken collarbone in a training crash on the road.
He added: “I haven’t done a good race since. I’ve trained really hard, I knew I was in great shape but there’s always doubt when I haven’t performed in a race.
“But once the race started, I knew I was in a good place. The heat, I mean, obviously I didn’t feel good but everyone just told me no-one will feel good.”
The Olympic mountain bike title is now added to his already long and diverse list of accolades, having won world titles in cyclo-cross, road and mountain bike events at under-23 level. This is Britain’s first Olympic mountain biking medal of any colour.
David Valero Serrano won the battle for bronze, 34 seconds down, the distance to the chasing pack underlining Pidcock’s dominance on the day.
Mathieu van der Poel, another of the pre-race favourites, pulled out after the fifth lap having crashed heavily early in the race.