Tom Pidcock (Great Britain) claimed his second world title in just a matter of days at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, winning the U23 men’s cross country race with a convincing performance. The future Ineos Grenadiers rider won the E-MTB race earlier at the Championships in Austria.
Pidcock won the race 1:52 ahead of Christopher Blevins (United States), with Joel Roth (Switzerland) completing the podium.
“It’s super nice to finish on a high, and to end the season like that,” Pidcock said after his win.
“It’s more a relief than anything. People said I could have raced in the elite race this weekend, but I wanted to end my time as an under-23 on a high and I don’t need to look back now, I can just move up to the elites.
“It was a really tough course, I felt terrible on the first two laps and then I still felt terrible for the rest of the race, I think it’s just a race where you’re never going to feel good. The downhills were really technical, very slippy, so it was a matter of keeping on the bike and the time was made on the uphills.”
Pidcock started 16th on the grid and was forced to open the throttle early in the race as he looked to make up places. He managed to move into second place early on and with Blevins cooperating the pair pushed clear of their rivals on the first of four finishing loops. Pidcock went solo soon after and began to quickly establish an unbridgeable lead over the remaining laps. At the end of the second lap, he had a 1:23 advantage over Blevins, and he extended that gap by a further five seconds at the start of the final lap.
Pidcock, 21, has enjoyed a stellar season in all disciplines this year. He won the British national cyclo-cross championships title earlier this year and finished second in the elite cyclo-cross World Championships in Switzerland. He then backed that up with three stages wins and the overall title in the Baby Giro in September. He finished 42nd in the elite road race at the UCI World Championships in Imola but used that event as a chance to gain experience in leading a team at that level, and then won the E-MTB event at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Austria on Wednesday, soloing to victory 35 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor in the second year of the event.
Pidcock will make the transition into the WorldTour next year after joining Ineos Grenadiers on a multiple-year contract in September.
"I am incredibly excited and proud to be signing for the Ineos Grenadiers. Like so many British cyclists of my generation, I have always aspired to race on the road with this team - to me, the best in the world," Pidcock said in a statement released at the time.
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