5 Sep 2015

Gaze wins silver medal at MTB World Champs

11:18 am on 5 September 2015

The Cambridge cyclist Sam Gaze has won the silver medal in the eliminator final at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Andorra.

New Zealand mountain bike cross-country rider Sam Gaze.

New Zealand mountain bike cross-country rider Sam Gaze. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 19-year-old, the youngest in the competition, came from last in the four-man final to snatch the silver medal in the quick-fire competition around a 900m course.

Gaze, known for his blistering pace, has had success in this form of the sport before, winning an elite World Cup last year in Cairns.

He got to the front to win his heat, quarter-final and semifinal after controlling the races from the front.

However the Specialized Factory Team rider was beaten to the first corner in the final, then pushed back to last before mounting a sprint up the final climb to all-but nab the winner Daniel Federspiel from Austria.

A 30-strong New Zealand team is competing at altitude in Andorra, the small principality in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain.

Tomorrow is the traditional warm-up for the cross-country races with a team relay ahead of the junior cross-country on Thursday (local time), under-23 cross-country featuring Gaze and fellow Commonwealth Games medallist Anton Cooper on Friday, and the elite women with Queenstown's Kate Fluker and elite men on Saturday.

Sunday gives way to the spectacular downhill racing for junior and elite divisions.