Cameron Mason (Nice Britain) took on the highest cyclocross racers on the continent on the UEC European Cyclocross Championships and, within the thick, deep mud and pounding rain, got here away with the primary medal gained by a rider not from Belgium or the Netherlands.
Mason completed simply seven seconds behind eventual winner Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) and held off the pursuit of Dutch duo Lars van der Haar and Pim Ronhart by a extra snug margin.
“I am a bit stunned by the step as a result of I understand how a lot power we have now in British cyclocross proper now with Tom [Pidcock] and others,” Mason informed Cyclingnews. “But it surely feels wonderful. It looks like my time is coming and this outcome has been knocking on the door for a number of years. The individuals who know, know they usually can see it coming. I am simply actually completely happy to have executed it at present.”
The race was sophisticated by winter storm Ciarán that compelled organisers to postpone Saturday’s races to Sunday and churned up the course in Pontchäteau into thick mud with heavy downpours.
Mason’s fourth place within the Koppenbergcross and prime 10s in Overijse, Ruddervoorde and the Maasmechelen World Cup and final yr’s world championships confirmed he was pointed in the fitting course and, due to the UCI factors, supplied a handy second-row begin.
“Within the race it was messy, it was fairly onerous to place collectively good laps. After the primary lap, I began to do this, I used to be setting the tempo and driving my very own race. That occurred to be sooner than the entire of the chase group.
“That was good as a result of it meant I may deal with myself, I did not need to actually be battling into corners and all that. That made a distinction. Then it was nearly managing it and holding all of it the way in which to the tip.
“The win wasn’t very far-off. Michael was in management however it’s additionally cool to know he is simply there and that is the jersey. However for now, I am simply tremendous pleased with my silver.”
The British champion expanded on the feedback within the post-race press convention, saying the course circumstances turned out to be good for his abilities.
“Once I checked out it on Friday, I assumed it could be a bit too punchy for me, however each time it rained extra I used to be like, yeah that is good for me, simply to deliver the speeds down just a little bit from 25kph to 20kph, that fits me much more if the climbs are extra within the saddle with that deep energy… You noticed how technical it was on the market, the riders who made the least errors, actually it suited them.”
The medal represents one other British presence on the prime of elite cyclocross together with these by former world champion Tom Pidcock and pioneering girls like Helen Wyman and the winner of at present’s under-23 girls’s race, Zoe Bäckstedt.
Pidcock has been each a job mannequin for Mason and a former teammate.
“I’ve truly regarded as much as him all through my complete profession, he is a trendsetter – it is so essential to have folks from your personal nation like that to push the game on. If Tom did not exist, I possibly would not be taking pictures for these medals and these ranges. The years I spent with him at Trinity, l discovered what makes a rider of this stage and now I am changing into a rider in my very own [right], I am wanting ahead to seeing him again [in cyclocross], it’s going to be good enjoyable.”