Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Kiwis Sam Gaze, Ben Oliver blitz field to claim gold-silver mountain bike double

  • 04/08/2022

Defending champion Sam Gaze has claimed back-to-back mountain bike gold medals, after beating out teammate and silver-medallist Ben Oliver at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Wednesday (NZ time).

In an utterly dominant Kiwi display, the duo took the lead early as a pack and never relented, extending their advantage to as many as 58s ahead of third place at the Cannock Chase Forest track, until Gaze made his move and ultimately cruised to victory 31s ahead of Oliver.

As early as the halfway stage, it seemed a foregone conclusion New Zealand would occupy both the first and second places on the podium, the only question was who would be where.

Gaze crosses the line first.
Gaze crosses the line first. Photo credit: Getty Images

Gaze provided a definitive answer to that question in the sixth lap, when he put his pedals to the metal and established a 25s advantage over his teammate and essentially seal his second gold medal in as many Games.

Oliver was never troubled for his silver medal, finishing 2m01s clear of Namibia's Alex Miller to improve on his fourth place-finish four years ago.

If not for 2018 silver-medallist Anton Cooper's heartbreaking late withdrawal due to COVID-19, it may well have been an NZ sweep on the podium.

The medals take New Zealand's overall tally to 28 to remain fourth in the overall tally.