In a competition where the stakes were high and the hills were higher — and wetter — Forest of Dean-born Charlie Hatton wheeled his way to victory at the UCI World Championships 2023.
The 25-year-old mountain biker stole the show on the wet hills of Fort William in Glasgow as he took gold for Great Britain in the downhill event, beating rivals from across the world as they failed to keep up in the treacherous conditions.
Hatton said: 'I know Fort William rides really well in the wet' — and it was this confidence that helped him to take on the challenging course and become only the fifth British rider to win the title.
Hatton started out riding with his older brothers through the woods of the Forest of Dean and he's been professionally riding with BMX specialists, Atherton Bikes, since 2018 — with his first competitive run with the team taking place at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2021.
The course at Fort William, jam-packed with twists, turns, steep turrets and slippery mud, turned out to be no match for Hatton, who completed the course in just four minutes and 26 seconds, pipping Spanish competitor, Angel Suarez Alonso, by a full 2.4 seconds.