New Zealand's Samuel Gaze defended his men's Cross-Country Commonwealth title with a commanding victory at Cannock Chase Forest.

Gaze was engaged in a lengthy battle with compatriot Ben Oliver but broke away to beat his team-mate by 31 seconds in a time of one hour 34 minutes.

The 26-year-old stood to cheer Oliver across the line for silver as he bettered the fourth position he achieved at Gold Coast 2018.

Bronze went to Namibia's Alexander Miller, who pipped Northern Ireland's Cameron Orr and England's Joseph Blackmore after the pair appeared to be duelling it out for third.

Gaze was delighted to retain his title and admitted his success was partly down to keeping head strong during the race.

He said: "It was pretty special. To be here four years on and be involved has been awesome.

Going into the season I had big goals and this makes it all worth it
Samuel Gaze

"It might have looked easy but it was still a hard race.

"It was about keeping composure and control my breathing, all these things that allow you to calm the mind and get the most out of it.

"It's been a tough few years but I’ve come back this year, a version of myself that I like to think is pretty special.

"Going into the season I had big goals and this makes it all worth it."

Gaze praised team-mate Oliver after his second-placed finish, adding: "It’s awesome. I’ve known Ben since he was a 14-year-old.

"It’s been special to see him grow up in the New Zealand mountain bike community then cut his teeth in Europe.

"He is really up there in the world of mountain biking and I’m hoping this medal is a really good slope in the right direction for him."