Tokyo Olympics: Great Britain’s Tom Pidcock takes mountain biking gold

Cycling
Tom Pidcock crossing the finish line
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Tom Pidcock won Great Britain’s third Olympic gold on Monday with a hugely impressive and dominant performance in the men’s mountain bike cross-country race in Tokyo.

The 21-year-old from Leeds moved to the front midway through and never let go of the lead as he finished ahead of Swiss world number one Mathias Flueckiger and David Valero of Spain to take Britain’s first gold in the sport.

Pidcock prepared for Tokyo’s soaring temperatures by training in a heated tent at home and that paid off as he handled the punishing course and conditions far better than the field, finishing 20 seconds clear.

Such was his dominance that Pidcock was able to unfurl a union jack and wave it as he crossed the finish 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 gold follows those won on Monday by Adam Peaty in 100m breaststroke and Tom Daley and Matty Lee in men’s synchronised 10m platform.

Pidcock’s win comes two months after he broke his collarbone while training. Despite needing surgery, the Yorkshireman was determined to be fit for the Olympics and was back on his bike just six days later, confidently declaring that he would win in Tokyo.

That self-assurance was ultimately well placed as he added an Olympic title to a long and diverse list of accolades, having won world titles in cyclo-cross, road and mountain bike events at under-23 level.

“I haven’t done a good race since [the injury],” Pidcock added. “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.”

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