Exmouth cycle ace Will Tidball races to Track World bronze medal
PUBLISHED: 07:30 19 December 2018
Exmouth cyclist Will Tidball channelled an Olympic spirit like no other as Great Britain produced a terrific team pursuit comeback in the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup.
Teenager Tidball, who made the move up to Manchester earlier this year to take up the opportunity of a place with the GB cycle team, took to the Lee Valley VeloPark with Olympic memories of London 2012 still ringing in his ears, watching the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Jason Kenny storm to gold with his career in its infancy.
Now, the endurance rider is producing special moments of his own, winning a staggering bronze medal in London with Matt Walls, Ethan Vernon and Fred Wright.
The youthful quartet were well off the pace in their bronze-medal ride but found opponents Italy floundering, and a late charge took them to the podium by just three-hundredths of a second.
“It was pretty quiet for a bit and I knew they were beating us by quite a bit and then it just started getting louder and louder,” said Tidball.
“On Matt Walls’ last turn, I told him ‘Go on, Matt!’ and luckily we just got it at the end.
“It’s pretty surreal being here really because I was inspired by the 2012 Olympics. So to come back here where the Olympics was, where Bradley Wiggins did his hour record, it’s pretty surreal to ride on the very same wood.
“Hopefully, there’ll be many more memories for me in this velodrome. I’m from around here, so hopefully I can come back here soon.”
The medal was all the more impressive given this was British Cycling’s second-strength team, with Walls taking his place as squad veteran at just 20 years old.
The Italian quartet also included Olympic omnium champion Elia Viviani, but he was no match for Tidball and co, making up a deficit close to two seconds in the final kilometre.
Teammate Vernon added: “It was really good. We were talking about it earlier because obviously we weren’t sure how it was going to go.
“But Matt Walls did a big last three laps and brought it back for us. So, it was a good ride.
“I wasn’t on the front, I was just in the wheels. But it was hard enough and that cheer kept us in there. I think if that was in training it would have been a different story.
“It’s definitely one of the highlights of the season. It was a great way to end the year.”
The next TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup on UK boards takes place at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow from November 8 to 10, 2019.
Sign up now at bit.ly/NextStopGlasgow to access tickets before they go on sale to the general public.