Great Britain’s successful UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships came to a fitting end amidst snow and mud though no further medals came the squad’s way.
Evie Richards and Ben Tulett both took their places atop Saturday’s podium but the conditions proved just as tricky on the second and final day in Valkenburg, Netherlands.
That meant Tom Pidcock, Dan Tulett and Ben Turner all missed out in the under-23 man category, while Ian Field felt he could be more than proud of a gutsy display in the men’s elite race.
But with two gold medals in the bank this is a Championships that the team won’t be forgetting soon, following up their performances from 12 months ago.
Pidcock misses out in gruelling under-23 race
Last year saw Pidcock standing with the rainbow bands following junior success but he wasn’t able to match that honour in the under-23 race.
He began most of the first lap within the top ten but, with the course and conditions unrelenting, wasn’t quite able to hold on as the race progressed.
Still he was there or thereabouts through to the conclusion, eventually crossing the line in 15th place behind winner Eli Iserbyt.
He had plenty of British interest around him too with Tulett in 20th and Turner five places back, with the three who took their places on the podium in last year’s junior race making the step up for the first time.
"I'm going to partly forget about this and partly think about this for next year," said Pidcock.
"This morning I woke up and felt ill, I was coughing and couldn't breathe properly, but I don't know what it was.
"I just kept telling myself the best is all you can do. I'm looking forward to getting home and going to bed!"
Field shows his mettle in 'pig of a race'
Spending December largely on the sidelines due to illness, Field's place in Netherlands had initially been in doubt.
But the experienced head showed himself to be more than ready for the occasion, battling through the tough beginning to occupy the middle ground.
That was where he stayed for much of the seven-lap race, indeed pulling a couple of places up on the field to eventually finish in 33rd.
But not he nor anybody could catch runaway leader Wout van Aert, in a class of his own to win the race by more than two minutes.
"That was one of the toughest races I've ever done, I think," he said.
"I got a reasonable start, it was always tough going straight in the short start but managed to keep myself out of trouble and tried to execute the race how I wanted to.
"I seemed to do that, had good legs on the bike and the running wasn't too bad initially.
"I'm reasonably pleased considering the December I had, that’s when you do the training but I had to miss large parts of that due to illness.
"So I can hold my head high after that, I can say I was there in Valkenburg when it was a pig of a race.
"It's just another level, the ground was so heavy and the sheer amount of running and technical nature of the course - I think it topped all the other World Championships."