Great Britain Cycling Team’s Iain Paton battled to 32nd in the under-23 men’s cross-country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, on Saturday.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a blistering start, moving from 55th in the grid up to sixth after the starting loop.
He gradually fell back over the five laps, finishing in one hour, 25 minutes and 31 seconds.
New Zealand’s Samuel Gaze was crowned world champion, with France’s Victor Koretzky 50 seconds back in second and Switzerland’s Marcel Guerrini third.
“A really tough race, I had a pretty poor gridding so I went out hard,” Paton said.
“It was good to see the front of a bike race, it gave me a bit of energy to try and hold on. There were plenty of positives from it. It was a really good race.”
After the first of five 4.1km laps, Paton had moved down to 15th and at the end of lap two was 19th, two minutes from the front of the race. By the end of the lap three the Scot was 25th.
Heading in to the final lap, Paton was down to 31st and found himself under pressure for his position.
In the closing stages, Paton had Austria’s Felix Ritzinger and Norway’s Petter Fagerhaug for company but was able to hold off their challenges to take 32nd.