Charlie Hatton defies the conditions to win the men’s mountain bike downhill | World Road Cycling Championships

Charlie Hatton won a memorable gold medal at the UCI Cycling World Championships, winning the men’s mountain bike downhill in wet and treacherous conditions in Fort William.

Although many of his rivals failed on the technical and increasingly slippery course, Hatton remained on his feet to become the fifth British rider to win the world title.

“I know Fort William rides really well in the wet,” Hatton said. “I just attacked the same as yesterday. I had people in the woods say the mud was very thin so there was still some grip. I just did all my lines and had a really good race.

In the junior women’s road race, Skipton’s Cat Ferguson was frustrated after winning the silver medal, behind the only French breakaway Julie Bégo.

Junior Tour of Flanders winner Ferguson led the chasing group home, shaking his head in dismay after the pursuit was blocked by the reluctance of others to help and also by the shrewd tactics of Bégo’s French teammates.

“Second place is amazing, but I came here for the shirt,” Ferguson said. “I came and tried to encourage other nations with numbers,” she added. “But unfortunately GB were the only team trying to chase and unfortunately it didn’t work out.

“I had a good season this year,” she said. “I arrived without expectations, but I realized that I was capable of winning. GB definitely came up with a plan to win, whether it was me or one of my teammates, so it’s gross, especially in front of a home crowd.

Charlie Hatton with his medal
Charlie Hatton said Fort William “rolls really well in the wet”. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Later in the day, in the junior men’s road race, 16-year-old Albert Philipsen of Denmark escaped to win the gold medal at Glasgow’s Central Circuit. His prodigious success, which follows recent world junior titles won by riders such as Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Mathieu van der Poel of Holland, will have been noted by the world’s top professional teams.

Evenepoel, the world champion and the hottest talent on the men’s World Tour, will be the focus of Sunday’s 271km men’s road race, especially as he looks closer than ever to leaving his current sponsor , Soudal Quick-Step.

The 23-year-old has long been linked with a move to British side Ineos Grenadiers, among others, and speculation that the Vuelta a España champions will soon be on the move has intensified after his father, also his agent , refused to guarantee that he would not be with a new team in 2024.

“Remco wants to stay on the condition that everything is done so that he can be competitive next summer on the Tour [de France]“, said Patrick Evenepoel. “However, hoping to fight with [Jonas] Vinggaard and [Tadej] Pogacar, the team must not take one step forward, but four or five.”

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