IN torrid conditions at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Bathurst's David Nicholas fought hard to score himself a top 20 finish in the men's C1-3 road race.
Nicholas didn't give up despite his medal hopes fading on the second of six laps, and he made up a couple of positions on the last loop around the circuit to finish 18th.
He finished the 79.2km race in a time of two hours, 21 minutes and eight seconds, 16:45 behind gold medallist Ben Watson.
"It was a super fast couple of laps in the road race today and my confidence around the corners wasn't where it needed to be in such terrible conditions," Nicholas said.
"Unfortunately it meant I got dropped on lap two. I rode with my heart and tried to do Australia proud by pushing hard, as it was a super tough course and with the rain it just added to that.
"I feel my games overall has been really good for me. The experience is different from London and Rio because of COVID, but still had a games vibe.
"I got bronze in my pet event [the 3000m individual pursuit] and a three second PB which I am still stoked about. I rode the best time trial I could do, so that is something I can also be proud of."
Peru's Israel Hilario Rimas was the first rider to go off the front of the field and he opened up a 24 second lead at the end of the first of six laps.
Nicholas conserved himself and was sitting at the back of the 20-strong rider chasing bunch at the end of the first 13.2km lap.
Hilario Rimas was quickly reeled in on lap two, after Australia's Darren Hicks led the chase, and an 11-strong breakaway bunch would get clear on the hill.
Sadly, Nicholas began to lose touch at that stage and would come across the lap two time check down a minute and 42 seconds.
By the halfway point of the event Nicholas was in survival mode and the rain was reaching a relentless level at Fuji International Speedway.
He came over the line at the 39.6km point alongside Belgium Ewoud Vromant with a 5:51 deficit to leader Jaco van Gass.
- READ MORE: Bathurst's David Nicholas finishes eighth in men's C3 road time trial at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics
- READ ALSO: He's got a Tokyo Paralympics track medal, now David Nicholas will hit the road
- READ ALSO: Bathurst's David Nicholas wins bronze in men's C3 3000 metre individual pursuit at Tokyo Paralympics
The 3000m individual pursuit champion van Gass was one of three British riders in the mix at that point, along with Finlay Graham and road time trial gold medallist Watson, asking plenty of questions of the main bunch.
Watson then went for broke on lap four and opened up a gap of just over a minute on the chasing group that was whittled down to seven.
With a lap remaining Graham emerged as the only challenger to a dominant Watson, with a 58 second gap to make up while the rest of the field were a further three minutes away.
Nicholas went into the last lap in 20th place with a 12:43 gap to Watson.
Watson had a special moment to savour as he crossed the finish line to claim gold only around a minute after countrywoman Sarah Storey won the women's C4-5 event.
His winning time was two hours, four minutes and 23 seconds. Graham rolled over for silver 1:20 behind.
France's Alexandre Leautre beat Italy's world champion Fabio Anobile in the sprint for bronze.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: