Huddersfield Olympic hero Ed Clancy described the third gold medal of his career as “the best of the lot”.
The 31-year-old was part of the Great Britain track cycling team pursuit line-up which destroyed Australia in the final with a new world record time.
Clancy, the most decorated Yorkshire athlete in Olympic history, was especially delighted after battling back from injury.
He said: “This is the best of the lot.
“Truth be told, we haven’t won a fat deal between the London Olympics and now, and we have had some big downs.
“Crossing the line a second ahead of the Aussies made every single pedal rev and every training session worthwhile.”
Ed Clancy's golden story in pictures:
The 31-year-old Yorkshireman also praised medical staff who helped him overcome a recent back injury, saying: “I can’t thank them enough.”
Clancy’s proud family were “in bits” as they watched him win gold at their home in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.
His brother Alex, 32, told the Press Association: “It is phenomenal. We are so proud of him. What an amazing achievement.
“The family has been in tears. Just eight month ago he had a prolapsed disc. He could not walk, let alone ride a bike and he had to go through a lot of rehabilitation.
“Day to day he came through it and to go from that to win in such an amazing race that was so close - has left us speechless.
“We are really really proud. We are all just in bits.
“We were all in tears watching it on TV because it was such a tight race.
“His last lap was like superhero strength. I honestly do not know where he came from.”
Sir Bradley Wiggins, who won a British record eighth Olympic medal, heaped praise on his teammates Clancy, Steven Burke and Owain Doull.
It was Great Britain’s third straight Olympic title in the event.
Wiggins said: “I would never have come back if we didn’t have the calibre – I have always said that Ed and Burkey for me are two of the most underrated athletes I have ever raced with, so talented at what they do and they don’t get the credit for it because they are not the big road stars.
“(And) you have someone like Doully here who ... can do anything in the sport and nothing fazes him, especially Olympic finals at 21.
“When you are with guys like that on the line it makes your job a hell of a lot easier.
“In some ways I realised what we were going into and that adds nerves to it, these guys (were) bouncing off the ceiling all afternoon in the apartment.”