Tom Pidcock has boosted his status as a prodigiously talented multi-discipline rider, with another UCI World Championship win.
The British cycling prodigy has shown that his track, road and cyclo-cross riding talent is effortlessly transferable to mountain biking. After winning a recent u/23 XC World Cup round in the Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, Pidcock decided to give battery-assisted racing a go.
At the e-MTB World Championships in Leogang, Austria, the young British rider managed to dominate, winning by a huge margin.
Despite negligible training time and or an opportunity to deeply familiarise himself with Specialized’s electric bike range, Pidcock illustrated his inherent riding talent in dreadfully muddy mountain bike conditions.
The Austrian World Championship venue was true to seasonal form, with treacherous autumn mud. Pidcock simply displayed all his cyclo-cross racing skills and masterfully slid the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo around a meaningfully technical course.
His margin of victory was eventually 35 seconds, besting Frenchman Jerome Giloux, whilst Denmark’s Simon Andreassen, a noted mountain biker, completed the podium, 49 seconds adrift of Pidcock.
- View the best electric mountain bikes at Bike Perfect
With the use of a dropper seatpost, aggressive tyre tread and a lot more suspension travel than he would ever have access to on his XC bike, Pidcock revelled in his e-MTB racing experience.
Seeing the Yorkshire rider foot-out around some corners and taxing the Turbo Levo’s 150mm of front and rear suspension, was a treat for spectators willing to brave the cold and muddy conditions.
The specification and features of his S-Works Turbo Levo make for interesting technical reading. His handlebar choice, at only 720mm of width, is much narrower than most mountain bikers would use to leverage and steer a 29er wheeled bike. Especially one with 150mm of suspension.
Tyre choice was dictated by conditions and Tom chose wisely, opting for Specialized Hillbilly downhill tyres in a 29x2.3in casing, instead of the wider 2.6in. The slightly narrow tyre width cuts deeper into soft trail conditions, allowing the tyre to drive into terrain and discover better grip beneath the muddy surface layer.
With large and generously spaced tread blocks, the Hillbilly tyres enabled Pidcock to salvage what little terrain grip there was on the course and delivered sufficient mud-shedding, preventing total clogging of the tread pattern. Specialized’s robust Grid sidewall also provided adequate puncture protection, especially against sniper-roots, which were stealthily hidden amongst the deeply rutted and muddy forest corners.
Assisting the tyres in generating directional control, especially downhill, was a set of SRAM Code RSC four-piston brakes, actuating 200mm rotors at both wheels.
To ensure optimal seated pedalling efficiency and balanced power output throughout the race, Pidcock used an S-Works Power Arc saddle, secured atop the AXS wireless dropper seatpost, with carbon rails.
Leogang’s UCI e-MTB World Championship course included some testing downhill sections and Pidcock’s Rockshox Lyrik Ultimate fork provided 150mm of active damping. With its characteristic red lowers and 35mm stanchion black upper tubes, Pidcock's Lyrik fork looked good whilst getting the job done.
Although e-MTBs might still rankle cycling purists, Pidcock proved that they can deliver great entertainment, for both elite level riders and spectators, in terrible riding conditions.
This latest victory reinforced the broad view that Pidcock is a boundlessly talented cycling and a future British legend in the making. With age very much on his side, much is expected of Pidcock in 2021, when he will be racing for the Ineos Grenadiers.
|Frame||Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FACT 11m|
|Fork||RockShox Lyrik Ultimate|
|Rear Shock||Fox Float|
|Handlebar||S-Works Carbon 720mm|
|Seatpost||Rockshox Reverb AXS|
|Saddle||S-Works Power Arc, carbon rail|
|Pedals||Ritchey WCS MTB XC|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS|
|Shifter||SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS|
|Chainset||Praxis Carbon M30|
|Chain||SRAM XX1 Eagle|
|Cassette||SRAM XG-1299 Eagle|
|Brakes||SRAM Code RSC 200mm|
|Wheels||Roval Traverse SL 29|
|Tyres||Specialized Hillbilly Grid 2.3|
|Motor||Specialized 2.1, custom Rx Trail-tuned motor, 250W nominal – Tuned to UCI Regulations and spec|
|Battery||Specialized M2-700, integrated battery w/rock guard, 700Wh|
|Bottle Cage||Specialized Zee Cage carbon - right|
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