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Tom Pidcock beats Mathieu van der Poel to win Nove Mesto World Cup

Tom Pidcock
(Image credit: Michal Červený)

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) said "I was born to mountain bike", and he certainly backed that statement up with a dominant performance on Sunday at Round 2 of the XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. 

Pidcock rode the best mountain bikers in the world off his wheel to beat Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) by a minute. Mathias Flueckiger (Thomus RN Swiss Bike) took third, while world number-one Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) was seventh. 

Van der Poel takes the leader's jersey for the series, 80 points ahead of Pidcock.

Rain through the week made the normally-dry Nove Mesto course muddy and slippery, with riders having to run many uphill rooty sections that are usually rideable. The course was gradually drying through the race, but almost every rider went down at some point on the roots. The men did a start loop plus six laps.

Van der Poel had his normal fast start, with World Cup leader Victor Koretzky (KMC-Orbea) joining him at the front and Schurter, Pidcock, local favourite Ondrej Cink (Kross Orlen) and Flueckiger close behind. Koretzky was struggling with the pace and quickly went backwards, eventually finishing a distant 24th and losing the leader's jersey to van der Poel.

The pace van der Poel was setting shredded the field, with only his road and cyclo-cross rival Pidcock able to stay with him. The duo rode away from Cink and Flueckiger, with Schurter fading behind them, and stayed together until the third lap, when Pidcock did the same thing to his rival - just rode away on a climb, setting the only sub-12 minute lap of the race (twice). 

By the end of the lap, Pidcock had 30 seconds on van der Poel, who was about to get caught by Flueckiger. A lap later, at the start of the fifth lap, Pidcock's gap was 1:18, and Flueckiger was starting to gap van der Poel on the climbs. However, the Dutch rider made a surge late in the lap to catch and drop his Swiss rival, eventually finishing one minute behind Pidcock, with Flueckiger a further 15 seconds back. 

Pidcock's World Cup win was the first by a British man since Gary Foord in 1994 at Mammoth Lake, California.

"Honestly, I think I was born to do mountain biking," said Pidcock after his historic win. "It sounds stupid, but it's what I have done since I was little and what I've enjoyed the most. So coming here and winning an elite World Cup in my first attempt on an equal playing field [after starting at the back of the field the week previously] is pretty insane."

Pidcock is still on the bubble about an Olympic spot, since he has to wait for the final Olympic nation rankings to come out and see if Great Britain gets a spot, but he's optimistic.

"I'll take a break now and then build hopefully towards the Olympics. I think I've shown what I can do on a mountain bike."

Van der Poel, who said coming into the first two World Cups that he wasn't at '100 per cent' after the cyclo-cross and early road seasons, said he was happy with second. 

"I'm happy, because it is already better than last week [seventh]. I was good at my own pace, but I had no response when Tom attacked; he was really strong today, so I'm happy that I could ride to second place," Van der Poel said. 

"I didn't really have the feeling that I was burning myself out [in the opening laps], it's just that when Tom accelerated on the steepest climb... he's very light and I could just go at my own pace but not follow his attack. I hope it will come soon. I rode a pretty steady second half of the race, so I'm happy with that, and with some more training I hope to be at my top level in a few months."

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas Pidcock (Great Britain) 1:20:55
2Mathieu Van der Poel (Netherlands) 0:01:00
3Mathias Flueckiger (Switzerland) 0:01:15
4Ondřej Cink (Czech Republic) 0:02:00
5Jordan Sarrou (France) 0:02:21
6Alan Hatherly (South Africa) 0:02:28
7Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 0:03:04
8Anton Cooper (New Zealand) 0:03:14
9Titouan Carod (France) 0:03:37
10Thomas Griot (France) 0:03:51
11Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Denmark) 0:04:11
12Bartlomiej Wawak (Poland) 0:04:38
13Luca Braidot (Italy) 0:04:48
14Milan Vader (Netherlands) 0:04:55
15David Valero Serrano (Spain) 0:04:58
16Joshua Dubau (France) 0:05:05
17Vlad Dascalu (Romania) 0:05:11
18Nadir Colledani (Italy) 0:05:14
19Leandre Bouchard (Canada)
20Christopher Blevins (United States Of America) 0:05:25
21Antoine Philipp (France) 0:05:31
22Thomas Litscher (Switzerland) 0:05:49
23Henrique Avancini (Brazil) 0:06:08
24Victor Koretzky (France) 0:06:10
25Pierre De Froidmont (Belgium)
26Lukas Flückiger (Switzerland) 0:06:11
27Vital Albin (Switzerland) 0:06:17
28Lars Forster (Switzerland) 0:06:28
29Jofre Cullell Estape (Spain) 0:06:33
30Anton Sintsov (Russian Federation) 0:06:45
31Gioele Bertolini (Italy) 0:06:50
32Maxime Marotte (France) 0:06:56
33Mirko Tabacchi (Italy) 0:07:03
34Jens Schuermans (Belgium) 0:07:12
35Marcel Guerrini (Switzerland) 0:07:17
36Samuel Gaze (New Zealand) 0:07:20
37Manuel Fumic (Germany) 0:07:21
38Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Italy) 0:07:24
39Luca Schwarzbauer (Germany) 0:07:30
40Julian Schelb (Germany) 0:07:34
41Ismael Esteban Aguero (Spain) 0:07:36
42Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo (Mexico) 0:07:39
43Reto Indergand (Switzerland)
44Peter Disera (Canada) 0:07:40
45Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spain)
46Karl Markt (Austria) 0:07:48
47Martins Blums (Latvia)
48Stephane Tempier (France) 0:07:51
49Sean Fincham (Canada) 0:08:02
50Niklas Schehl (Germany) 0:08:04
51Jan Vastl (Czech Republic) 0:08:11
52Simon Andreassen (Denmark) 0:08:18
53Jan Škarnitzl (Czech Republic) 0:08:23
54Catriel Soto (Argentina) 0:08:36
55Gregor Raggl (Austria) 0:08:44
56Luiz Henrique Cocuzzi (Brazil) 0:08:47
57Daan Soete (Belgium)
58Keegan Swenson (United States Of America) 0:08:53
59Andrew L'Esperance (Canada)
60Andri Frischknecht (Switzerland) 0:09:07
61Dmytro Titarenko (Ukraine) 0:09:11
62Jonas Lindberg (Denmark) 0:09:20
63Marc Andre Fortier (Canada) 0:09:34
64Erik Hægstad (Norway) 0:09:57
65Thibault Daniel (France) 0:09:58
66Georg Egger (Germany) 0:10:01
67Simon Vitzthum (Switzerland) 0:10:03
68Andrin Beeli (Switzerland) 0:10:27
69Krzysztof Lukasik (Poland) 0:10:52
70Pablo Rodriguez Guede (Spain) 0:11:27
71Hugo Drechou (France)
72Basile Allard (France)
73Emil Lindgren (Sweden)
74Emil Hasund Eid (Norway)
75Guilherme Gotardelo Muller (Brazil)
76Ben Oliver (New Zealand)
77Mário Costa (Portugal)
78Tyler Orschel (Canada)
79Shlomi Haimy (Israel)
80Bruno Vitali (Switzerland)
81Josef Jelínek (Czech Republic)
82Ivan Filatov (Russian Federation)
83Maxime Loret (France)
84Matej Ulik (Slovakia)
85Nick Burki (Switzerland)
86Clément Auvin (France)
87Filip Helta (Poland)
88Quinton Disera (Canada)
89Dimitrios Antoniadis (Greece)
90Frazer Clacherty (Great Britain)
91Nicolas Delich Pardo (Chile)
92Luis Neff (Germany)
93Raphael Auclair (Canada)
94Pierre-geoffroy Plantet (France)
95Fabian Giger (Switzerland)
96Ulan Bastos Galinski (Brazil)
97Fabio Hernando Castañeda Monsalve (Colombia)
98Tomáš Paprstka (Czech Republic)
99Martin Haring (Slovakia)
100Daniel Mcconnell (Australia)
101Rok Naglič (Slovenia)
102Kohei Yamamoto (Japan)
103Joris Ryf (Switzerland)
104Cole Paton (United States Of America)
105Jhonatan Botero Villegas (Colombia)
106András Parti (Hungary)
107Silas Graf (Germany)
108Alex Bregenzer (Germany)
109Moritz Bscherer (Austria)
110Florian Trigo (France)
111Sebastian Miranda Maldonado (Chile)
112Tomáš Ševců (Czech Republic)
113Gioele De Cosmo (Italy)
114Timofei Ivanov (Russian Federation)
115Oleksandr Koniaiev (Ukraine)
116Sam De Nijs (Netherlands)
117Kevin Krieg (Switzerland)
118Karol Ostaszewski (Poland)
119David Bártek (Czech Republic)
120Sascha Weber (Germany)
121Alexandre Vialle (Canada)
122Arthur Tropardy (France)
123Lorenzo Serres (France)
124Raphael Gagne (Canada)
125Tim Feinauer (Germany)
126Felix Belhumeur (Canada)
127Rob Vanden Haesevelde (Belgium)
128Florian Wimmer (Austria)
129Zdeněk Vobecký (Czech Republic)
130Tristan De Lange (Namibia)
131Ede-karoly Molnar (Romania)
132Fabian Costa (Austria)
133Wim De Bruin (Netherlands)
134Periklis Ilias (Greece)
135Gregor Dimic (Slovenia)
136Charoun Molla Amet ali Oglou (Greece)
137Lucian Logigan (Romania)
138Pau Romero Barcelo (Spain)
139Abdulkadir Kelleci (Turkey)
140Serdar Depe (Turkey)
141George-vlad Sabau (Romania)
DNFUrsin Spescha (Switzerland)
DNFMatthias Stirnemann (Switzerland)
DNFMaximilian Foidl (Austria)
DNFMaximilian Brandl (Germany)

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