Matlock’s Gould so close to medal on return to world mountain-biking stage
A brave performance by Matlock’s most celebrated cyclist, Tim Gould, just failed to bag him a medal at the World Mountain-Bike Championships.
It was back in 1990 that Gould first tasted success at the World Championships when he won gold in the hill-climb event and bronze in the main event at Durango in Colorado.
Amazingly, only one other British rider, David Baker in 1992, has achieved a medal at the championships since, but Gould, who is now 55, gave it a really good shot this time around.
Mont St Anne, Quebec, Canada was the venue for the 2020 showdown, which spanned ten days and covered every category of racing within the sport of mountain-biking.
Gould knew the course well because he had raced there previously during his golden era as a world-class professional cyclist in the 1980s and 1990s. He competed firstly for the Peugeot team and then for six years for the American outfit, Schwinn.
On this occasion, he raced as an ambassador for Forme, a Derby-based cycle manufacturer and component supplier. The company was keen to get their name recognised on the world stage, and so turned to Gould to do it for them.
He didn’t let them down, acheiving a highly creditable fifth place in the masters category, finishing just outside the medal positions.
In neither mountain-biking, nor cyclo-cross, in which he also competes, Gould is not known as a fast starter. But he is feared by the other riders for his ability to increase speed in the latter half of races.
That’s exactly how the race in Canada panned out. On the completion of the first lap, he was in sixth place and one minute, 22 seconds slower than the leader.
There he remained at the end of lap two but, by lap three, Gould was racing for fourth spot.
Come the last lap, in a do-or-die attempt at grabbing a medal, Gould moved up a gear and his official lap time was the fastest one set.
Unfortunately, it only succeeded in getting him to within one second of the rider in fourth position.
Nevertheless, Gould was pleased with his attempt at world glory, fully 29 years after his initial medal success.
His display will further enrich an illustrious CV that also includes World Cup victories and podium places, multiple appearances for Britain across the globe and lots of success in the Grundig World Cup series for Schwinn. He was also Three Peaks cyclo-cross champion six times.
Gould was inducted into the British Cycling Hall Of Fame in 2009 before making his comeback in 2014 and quickly landing a national cyclo-cross title in the veterans’ category.