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Tom Pidcock wins gold in Olympic mountain bike race

Joe Robinson
26 Jul 2021

The 21-year-old takes Team GB's first mountain bike gold as Mathieu van der Poel craashes out

Tom Pidcock has won Team GB's first cycling gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the men's cross-country mountain bike event.

The Yorkshireman beat Swiss rider Mathias Flückiger as pre-race favourite Mathieu van der Poel was forced to abandon after a heavy crash in the opening lap. Defending champion Nino Schurter could only manage fourth with Spain's David Valero took bronze.

Pidcock's victory sees him become the first British rider to win a medal in the discipline of mountain biking since its introduction at the Atlanta games in 1996.

The 21-year-old eventually took gold with relative ease beating Flückiger by 20 seconds on the technical Izu mountain bike course. Pidcock managed to push away solo with two laps to go after proving too strong on the 4km course's various steep climbs. The pressure applied by Pidcock saw Flückiger put his foot down with two laps remaining all but securing the gold for Great Britain.

With enough time to celebrate, Pidcock was able to grab a British flag as he cruised along the finishing line.

Pidcock also had his fair share of luck during the race as he narrowly avoided Van der Poel's spectacular crash at the beginning of the race. Van der Poel battled on but eventually abandoned with two laps remaining as his injuries took its toll.

The Ineos Grenadier called his Olympic success 'unreal' after stating he had not had a good race since breaking his collarbone in a crash in early June.