Q&A with World Champion Top Pidcock


British & European Champion Tom Pidcock is now World Champion after his dominate performance on Saturday. We quiz him on that day …

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Q&A with World Champion Top Pidcock

After a steady start in the Junior Men’s World Cyclo-Cross Championship, as French rider Maxime Bonsergent led the race away, Tom Pidcock was soon at the sharp end with Bonsergent and as the British rider got to grips with the slippery course, his better skills and judgment soon had him running away with the World title as his teammates Tulett and Turner took over the other medal positions behind.

Pidcock was never caught and continued to solo to a history making victory as he led a British 1-2-3 in the race. Quizzed on the race on Tuesday, he says “It was an amazing day on Saturday filled with emotion and tears but I think when I got home and put the jersey next to the other two, I think that’s when it hit me that ‘I’ve done it’.”

The course was an ice rink and the riders had only gone a few metres before there was crash that must have taken down a quarter of the field in one go. Asked about the course, Tom explained “now I think about it, yes, it was ridiculously sketchy as you could see from the amount of crashes.”

“The rain that fell, came after most of the riders will have pre-rode the course so that meant that we all lined up on the start line with no real understanding of what the course was going to be like. It was like an ice rink and I knew there would be a crash on the first corner which inevitably happened, luckily I just avoided it.”

“My strategy was to take no risks at all on the first lap, just get round without falling off. Then, when I had mastered the new conditions I would start racing & let my legs do the work. With about two laps to go, when I heard through the speakers, that it became a British 1-2-3, I knew then even if I crashed, there were two other British chances behind me. The last lap was nice as well, I just tried to take it all in.”

Asked if he made any changes to the bike when he realised the course was a skating rink, Tom replied “with about 30 minutes to go, I decided to go from Baby Limus (almost muds) to Dunes (file treads) giving me the most surface area on the ground. I also put a few more psi in my tyres so I didn’t puncture on any frozen ruts”.

“Each day the course changed and my tyre choice changed. I think I rode every type of tyre Challenge make throughout the weekend. Looking at the amount of punctures and how it affected the elite men’s race, I’m glad it was icy for me now!”

Those who watched will have seen Tom having a little play with his rear canti brake. Asked about that he says “Yeah, just when I did that drift thing, my lever slipped, then it tightened my back brake up so I didn’t have any feeling so I tried to undo it but it was too tight so I just managed with it until I changed bikes and I only changed once.”

Once the title had been won and the rainbow jersey handed to him, Tom then had time to relax and asked what the best bit was about the post race celebration, he replied “I think going into the beer tent on Sunday was the best bit. Just being able to have fun without worrying about not getting ill, saving my legs or anything”.

And at what point did he think the World title chase was ‘on’ pre race – “I think ever since I won my first races abroad like Zonhoven and Euros. Along with everyone telling me I would win, I almost thought I had won before I’d even started the race even though I knew I hadn’t. I guess that made me quite confident but also very nervous about crashing”.

“Winning is a dream come true”.

Tom will soon be jetting off to Majorca for some sun, riding and some R & R and his 2017 has many more goals including the Junior Paris-Roubaix, riding the European Track Championships and the Road Worlds too. We wish Tom a great 2017 and hope that he realises the other goals he’s set himself for the year. Thank you for making time to take part in these question and answer features. Much appreciated!





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