Tokyo Olympics: Tom Pidcock wins Olympic gold medal in men's mountain bike cross country

July 26, 2021

Tom Pidcock took Great Britain's Olympic gold medal tally to three on Day Three of the Tokyo Games, winning the men's mountain bike cross country.

The 21-year-old crossed the finish line at the Izu Mountain Bike Course draped in a Union flag after a brilliant ride on his Olympic debut and just half an hour after Tom Daley and Matty Lee added a second gold of the day.

Britain's first two days had yielded one silver and one bronze, but Monday started an astonishing run.

Adam Peaty won Britain's first gold of the delayed Tokyo Games with a dominant swim to defend his 100m breaststroke title, while Daley and Lee teamed up to win the men's 10m synchronised platform diving gold.

Alex Yee had also added a silver medal in the men's triathlon on Monday on his Games debut.

Pidcock overtook eight-time world champion Nino Schurter and Mathias Fluckinger on the third lap and never looked like letting go of gold, prevailing by 20 seconds in a time of 1:25:14.

A heavy early fall for race favourite Mathieu van der Poel opened things up and Pidcock, from Leeds, soon took control. Starting 29th on the grid, he gained 26 positions in the start loop alone.

The Yorkshireman sealed qualification for the Games with a record-breaking World Cup win in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic by a whole minute.

"It's nothing like any other race. The Olympics just transcends any sport," Pidcock said after securing victory.

"You compete and represent your country and everyone in your country is behind you, no matter in what sports they like. It's just national pride, it's unbelievable.

"It's been such a hard time coming here from crashing and breaking my collarbone [in May] and that's just unbelievable.

"I'm always better when I take control myself. I take my own lines, my own speed. Once we started I was fine, all the nerves kind of went and I concentrated on the race.

"I'm happy this [the Olympic Games] is only every four years because it's stressful," he concluded. "I know that my mum and girlfriend are crying at home. It's sad that they can't be here but I see them when I get home."

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