Tokyo Olympics: Britain’s Pidcock wins mountain bike race

The 21-year-old multidiscipline prodigy dominated the toughest course in Olympic history, cruising ahead of reigning champion Nino Schurter and his Swiss teammate Mathias Fluckiger.

Gold medallist Tom Pidcock of Britain celebrates on the podium.   -  REUTERS

Tom Pidcock won the Olympic men's mountain bike race with a dominant performance in the hilly countryside southwest of Tokyo on Monday, extending Britain's dominance from the road and track to the dirt.

Leaving reigning champion Nino Schurter and his Swiss teammate Mathias Flueckiger behind on the fourth of seven laps, Pidcock cruised to the first medal in mountain biking for Britain — a nation that has a storied history on the road and for years has dominated on the track, but hasn't been so good when the course turns to dirt.

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Fluckiger gave chase in vain and was left with a silver medal. David Valero Serrano of Spain won a surprise bronze.

Pidcock, who splits time between the road and mountain biking, won the World Cup race at Nove Mesto earlier this year to become an Olympic favorite. But then he was hit by a car and broke his collarbone on a training ride, keeping him off a bike for about a week in June, and some wondered whether he'd have the same legs for the Tokyo Games.

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