England’s Last first as team-mate Richards completes mountain bike one-two

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England’s Last wins mountain bike gold

England won their first ever Commonwealth Games medals in women’s mountain biking as favourite Annie Last took gold ahead of team-mate Evie Richards on the Gold Coast.

Last, 27, overtook Richards before the 9km mark in the 27km race, going on to win in one hour 18 minutes two seconds.

Silver medallist Richards, 21, was 48 seconds behind, with Scotland’s Isla Short finishing in fifth.

New Zealand’s Sam Gaze beat team-mate Anton Cooper in a thrilling men’s race.

Gaze, 22, and 23-year-old Cooper, along with South Africa’s Alan Hatherly, jostled for the lead throughout before Cooper sped clear after a technical problem for Gaze at the start of the final lap.

However, Gaze fought back from a significant deficit to overtake his rival close to the end before winning a sprint finish to the line.

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England’s Last won silver at the 2017 World Championships – the first medal for a British female at the global event – and also won gold at the World Cup round in Lenzerheide the same year.

Last and Richards pulled clear of the field on the first lap, Richards leading by a wheel before Last made her move and eased to victory.

Canada’s Haley Smith won bronze ahead of team-mate Emily Batty.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said Last.

“If you get it right, it’s smooth sailing and easy, but the thing is about mountain biking, if you make a tiny mistake, it can ruin everything.

“I’m really happy with the race. During it you never know how you’re feeling and how it will play out in the end, but I just put absolutely everything into the race and focused on my own performance.”

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/commonwealth-games/43734935

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