Great Britain Cycling Team took a fantastic fifth place in the team relay as the UEC European Mountain Bike Championships started in Huskvarna, Sweden on Thursday.
Iain Paton, Will Gascoyne, Evie Richards and Grant Ferguson made up Britain’s quartet and completed the race in 57 minutes and 53 seconds.
Switzerland, with women’s world number one Jolanda Neff, took the win in 55 minutes and 36 seconds with France second and Germany third. The Czech Republic finished fourth.
The excellent ride from a young team - Paton (21), Gascoyne (18), Richards (19) and Ferguson (22) - will offer plenty of encouragement for the remainder of the competition.
Under-23 rider Paton was handed the task of riding the opening leg and was placed 13th as he swapped with junior rider Gascoyne, on a course which offered plenty of overtaking opportunities.
A photo posted by Simon Watts (@simonwattsy) onMay 5, 2016 at 7:51am PDT
By the time under-23 cyclo-cross world champion Richards took to the course Great Britain were moving up and found themselves fifth as under-23 world bronze medallist Ferguson embarked on the final leg of the race.
The Scotsman maintained the position with the Czech Republic over a minute ahead to secure an excellent result for the team.
Friday see the cross-country eliminator take place before Saturday’s junior women’s race (featuring Sophie Wright and Emily Wadsworth), junior men’s race (with Will Gascoyne) and under-23 women’s race (with Evie Richards).
On Sunday the under-23 men’s race (with Iain Paton) and elite men’s race (with Grant Ferguson) take place.