THE Great Ayton rider Charlie Tanfield has been handed a moment to make Olympic history today after Ed Clancy was forced to pull out of the games. 

In a statement from British Cycling, Clancy has announced his immediate retirement due to 'an on-going back and sciatica issue'. Tanfield will now replace Clancy in the men's team pursuit. 

The 36-year-old has won three Olympic gold medals in his career and has been a seven time world champion. 

Tanfield, 24, has been on reserve for Team GB throughout the game and has now been handed the opportunity to compete at his first ever games in Tokyo. 

The heats in the men's team pursuit begin later this morning.

Clanacy said: “I’m absolutely gutted that my Olympic career has ended this way, but it would be unfair of me to try to carry on now I have aggravated my back injury.

"Ultimately, I want the rest of the lads to build on the hard work we have done over the past year and a half and give them the best possible chance of making it on to the podium. I will be supporting them all the way.”