DAVID Nicholas won his fourth Paralympics medal on Thursday afternoon, and his first as a Bathurst resident, when he rode to a bronze medal in the men's C3 3000 metres individual pursuit in Tokyo.
The defending champion from Rio 2016 may have missed out on an opportunity to ride for the gold medal, despite bettering his Paralympic record time from Brazil by nearly nine seconds, but he bested Spain's Eduardo Santas Asensio in an exciting bronze medal ride to get himself on the podium.
Nicholas rode a time of 3:25.877 in the bronze medal race to beat Santas Asensio by 1.956 seconds in a great tactical battle.
The Bathurst rider got himself to a 1.3 second lap one kilometre into the reach but had a big fight on his hands when the Spaniard brought that margin back under a second with just under half the race to go.
Nicholas held his nerve to push that gap back up to 1.4 seconds with just two laps to go and he would dominate the last stretch of the pursuit with an experienced finish.
It was Nicholas' second win over Santas Ascensio on Thursday after the Australian rode a time of 3:23.674 to win his heat by over three seconds.
That effort shattered Nicholas' gold medal winning time of 3:32.336 from five years earlier but a pair of speedy British riders would deny the Bathurst rider a chance of defending his title.
Jaco van Gass (3:17.593) and Finlay Graham (3:19.780) rode off for the gold medal thanks to their historic performances in the heats, with van Gass ultimately winning the gold ahead of his countryman in a time of 3:20.987.
The bronze was still a brilliant effort for the Bathurst 29-year-old who hasn't had the opportunity to access much time on velodrome boards in the lead up to the event.
Nicholas was quick to thank his family and fiancé, Emilie Miller, for the support back home.
"All my family and friends watching me on TV, it means so much to me," Nicholas said shortly after his bronze medal ride.
"I just want to say thank you baby for supporting me .. thanks for all the help you've given me."
His two other previous medals at the Paralympics both came at London 2012, with a gold in the Men's Individual Road Time Trial C3 and a bronze in the Men's Individual C1-3 Road Race.
Nicholas still has the road time trial and the road race to come on his Tokyo schedule.
The men's C3 road time trial is Tuesday at 2.30pm and the Men's C1-3 road race will be Thursday at 10.48am.
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