Pidcock, Richards lead Team GB at Cyclo-cross World Championships
'I've been building up towards it so I know I’ll be there in good shape' says Pidcock
Tom Pidcock and Evie Richards will lead British Cycling's elite men's and women's selections at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships held on February 1-2 in Switzerland.
Pidcock, who won the under-23 world title last year, will be the sole rider from Team GB in the elite men's race, and he will be up against the likes of defending champion Mathieu van der Poel and a selection of Belgian riders including Pidcock's former U23 rival Eli Iserbyt, Wout van Aert and Toon Aerts.
It will be his first participation in the elite men's category at the World Championships.
"Obviously, the world championships is the biggest cyclo-cross race on my calendar for the season, and I’ve been building up towards it so I know I'll be there in good shape," Pidcock said in a team press release.
"I've marked up some good results lately and training is going well. There’s not been a race on this course before, and from what I know the weather could have a big effect on the race, but it’s the same for everyone so I'm not too worried I'm just looking forward to putting on the Great Britain jersey again and trying my best to do it proud."
Pidcock crashed heavily at the Tour de l'Avenir last summer but went on to secure the bronze medal in the under-23 road race at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire in September. He had dental surgery in November to correct damage to his teeth as a result of the summer crash and returned to race cyclo-cross.
Richards focussed on elite Worlds
Two-time under-23 women's champion Evie Richards will compete in the elite women’s race, alongside teammate Beth Crumpton. Richards was forced to miss the end of last year's cyclo-cross season due to a knee operation, and set her sights on a strong end to the season this year.
"The squad which has been selected to represent the Great Britain Cycling Team in Dubendorf is a really interesting one, with lots of prospects and lots to look out for," said British Cycling’s cyclo-cross co-ordinator Matt Ellis.
"On the elite side, we’ve seen Pidcock really get to grips with racing against the world's best men this season and he's very much looking to peak at these world championships, which I am confident he is capable of.
"It's also great to see Evie back racing for us, she’s been incorporating a lot of cyclo-cross training into her mountain bike programme as these world championships are a big target for her."
Lining up in the under-23 men’s event is Ben Tulett, last year’s junior world champion, along with Cameron Mason, Thomas Mein and Ben Turner.
In the under-23 women’s race the recently crowned elite national champion Hattie Harnden and the European silver medallist Anna Kay have both made selection.
"In the under-23 categories, we’ve seen some strong performances at international level this year and in particular I've seen Anna Kay really step up and grow in confidence," Ellis said.
"On the men’s side, Thomas Mein similarly has stepped up and his victory at the world cup in Tabor highlighted this."
Junior national champions Rory McGuire and Millie Couzens have been selected to represent Great Britain, as have the silver medallists Oliver Stockwell and Josie Nelson and the bronze medallists Corran Carrick-Anderson and Anna Flynn. They will be joined by Ben Chilton, Joe Kiely and Maddie Wadsworth.
"In the junior categories, we've got a real mix of background talent. As well as our out-and-out cyclo-cross riders, we have Millie Couzens and Oli Stockwell both joining us from British Cycling’s track endurance junior academy programme while Anna Flynn and Corran Carrick-Anderson are members of the mountain bike development squad. It’s great to see the number of riders within the squad who can transfer their skills across disciplines at such a high level.
"British Cycling has a history of success at world championships, and every year I see this legacy motivating the team on race day. I think we have some real potential again this year, and I look forward to seeing what the team can achieve."
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