Maxime Marotte rode from third on the final lap to first to help France to team relay gold at the World Championships in Champéry, while hosts Switzerland claimed bronze and Italy completed the podium.
Under-23 rider Fabian Canal got the French quartet off to a sluggish start, finishing his lap in 13th position, but junior male Victor Koretzky gained eight positions before women’s World Cup champion Julie Bresset pushed the team into the medal positions and Marotte secured gold.
“The only way to describe this feeling is superb,” said Marotte. “To be part of such a strong team gives you motivation. We knew we had the title in our legs, but it’s always one thing to think about it and another thing to fulfill your expectations.”
Former men’s elite world champion Nino Schurter produced a superb final lap to lift defending team relay champions Switzerland from fifth to second, while Great Britain – Kenta Gallagher, Grant Ferguson, Tracy Moseley and Liam Killeen – finished ninth.
“We all can be very proud of our performance,” said Schurter. ” We didn’t lose gold, but we won silver. I think my performance was ok considering I had to take risks and attack to pass riders in front of me.”
Meanwhile, Switzerland’s Linda Indergand soloed to victory in the junior women’s racing, with Lena Putz (Germany) more than two minutes back in second and and Julia Innerhofer (Italy) a further 25 seconds adrift in third.
British duo Katy Winton and Beth Crumpton finished 28th and 33rd respectively from the 36-rider field.