Teenager Tom Pidcock delivered a supreme display on the big stage as he powered to under-23 victory at the UEC Cyclo-cross European Championships.
Pidcock, the 2017 junior world champion, ceremoniously carried his bike over the line after clocking 50.22 around the seven-lap course in ‘s-Hertogenbosch ahead of Belgian Eli Iserbyt and French racer Antoine Benoist.
It is another feather in the cap for the Team Wiggins rider, who is amassing a growing reputation despite being just 19.
This European crown is added to silver in the same event last year, having claimed gold in the junior race the previous time out.
He is also a junior time trial world champion, a crown he bagged in 2017.
Pidcock spearheads British charge
Pidcock was at the forefront of a tremendous British showing in the Netherlands, with Ben Turner and Thomas Mein fourth and fifth respectively, and Daniel Tullett 13th.
And the Yorkshire teen admitted victory was sweet after mixed results this season.
"The start of the season was difficult", Pidcock said. "A new team always takes getting used to, but the results were not as hoped.
“In addition, I had to deal with an injury and illness. It is therefore good for my self-confidence that I won here.
"I was so nervous before the start, considering all the hard work of the past weeks. I drove very well today through the corners.
“This allowed me to take things a bit slower on the long straights. I decided to walk through the sand, since there were very deep tracks. Then it is difficult to drive through.
"I have only returned to a good level for two weeks. I will now rest for a few days, after which I will work towards my other goals.
“I will ride two more races next week, to catch the World Cup of Koksijde next week. Then I go to Girona for three weeks to train.”
Brammeier and Wyman make top 10
The women’s senior race threw up two Brits in the top ten, with eighth-placed Nikki Brammeier edging ahead of compatriot Helen Wyman.
Brammeier crossed the line in 41:40 with Wyman five seconds behind, and Beth Crumpton managing to seal a place in the top 20 thanks to her time of 44.16.
It was an all-Dutch podium, with Annemarie Worst taking gold, Marianne Vos silver and Denise Betsema bronze, just two seconds separating all three riders.
Anna Kay was the pick of the Brits in the women’s under-23 race, claiming 14th as she was one of three Brits to finish in the top 20.
Ffion James was 16th, with Anna Flynn three places behind. Maddie Wadsworth ended the day 21st and Josie Nelson 29th.
Three Brits were in action in the men’s juniors, Daniel Barnes crossing the line quickest in 25th, Simon Wyllie and Jenson Young ending 31st and 33rd respectively.