Why Tom Pidcock is the world's most exciting pro cyclist

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So good, he doesn't even need gloves, to keep control. (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool)
So good, he doesn't even need gloves, to keep control. (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool)
  • Once an off-season training category for Belgian and Dutch road racing pros, cyclocross is becoming very popular.
  • Short climbs and technical features  - like stairs – offer a stern test for riders. And lots of entertainment, for spectators.
  • The UCI cyclocross World Championships proved that a young rider from Leeds, might be the world’s best all-round cyclist.

Cyclocross is very Belgian, but the new World Champion is very British.

With his main rival, Mathieu van der Poel, being injured, Tom Pidcock proved why he is the world’s most exciting multi-discipline rider.

At the Fayetteville track in Arkansas, he became the first British male rider to win a UCI cyclocross World Championships. Pidcock has now won all three UCI cyclocross World Championship categories: as a junior, U23 rider and senior men’s competitor.

With his cyclocross win, Pidcock now holds a rare collection of cycling titles simultaneously, including the Olympic mountain biking gold medal.

grave ride
Cyclocross mixes brutal pedalling efforts, with the challenge of tricky descents. Like this sand section. On narrow tyres. (Photo: Red Bull Content pool)

Beating the Belgians at their own game

Despite the absence of Dutch superstar Mathieu van der Poel, the large and powerful Belgian contingent did not let Pidcock cruise to victory. Keen on disrupting the British rider’s rhythm, Pidcock was swarmed at the start by recognized Belgian cyclocross specialists, Eli Iserbyt and Toon Aerts.

Pidcock used his superior mountain biking skills to gain the lead, entering the Fayetteville track’s most technical corner with daring speed and showing superior bike handling skills. After this passing move, he was never troubled again. After five laps, Pidcock won by an imposing 30 seconds.

"That was always going to be a super hard race. The drier it became, the more tactics were going to play a part and the Belgians were trying to ride a really tactical race, but I was having none of it. I found my opportunity and made it stick. We came here with a plan and process, and we just stuck to it."

gravel ride
As part of the esteemed Ineos Grenadiers pro road racing team, Tom rides an Italian Pinarello bike. (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool)

Tom is just getting started

Pidcock has stated that one of his cycling goals is to win the cyclocross, mountain bike cross-country and road race world titles – all in the same year. Despite only being 58kg. There have always been very light pro riders, but Pidcock's bike skills are exceptional. 

Although competition in the mountain bike and road racing categories are deeper than cyclocross, the British rider off to a great start in achieving his goal of a hattrick world championships, in a single calendar year.

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