News: Pidcock makes History

Great Britain Cycling Team’s Tom Pidcock has ridden his way into the history books by becoming the first British male to ever reach the elite men’s podium at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships whilst Anna Kay also made the podium with third in the Under 23 Women

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News: Pidcock makes History

Great Britain Cycling Team’s Tom Pidcock has ridden his way into the history books by becoming the first British male to ever reach the elite men’s podium at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Dubendorf, Switzerland, earlier today. The 20-year-old Yorkshireman finished with the silver medal, completing a successful debut season having taken an early step up to compete in the elite men’s category.

Photo: @UCI_CX (twitter)

Pidcock rode a great race, getting off to a strong start and staying with the race favourites vying for second place throughout the first three laps. An attack on lap four saw Pidcock distance himself from the chasing group and he was able to stay away for the rest of the race to claim the silver medal. Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel was dominant from the start to win his third world title, with Toon Aerts from Belgium clinching bronze.

Speaking after the race, Pidcock said: “To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be that strong. I knew this course and these conditions would suit me. It was incredible. The number of fans who have come over is unbelievable and shows how much the sport has grown. It’s nice to be able to represent Britain in the elite race. On his attack that took him clear into second place, distancing the Belgian challengers, Tom explained “I think the best form of defence is attack so I just thought it was best to lead from the front and I felt pretty good.”

Photo: @UCI_CX (twitter)

On the conditions, he says “It was what I wanted although I lost 10 Euros as I bet Kurt that it wouldn’t rain but it did and that was better for me.” Talking about whether he expected to finish the race with a Silver medal, Tom replied, on Tuesday, when I woke up with a cold, no, so I didn’t really do much on the bike this week and maybe that is why I was going well, so may maybe I should get ill more often.

“It’s probably my best cyclo-cross ride, as I’m now second in the world behind Mathieu, so that’s not bad at all. I’m not often happy with second, even in the elites, but today it felt almost like I won the race. It was Mathieu’s race to lose and it was pretty special coming second. This is the stepping stone and if I start becoming best of the rest then I start racing Mathieu. Through the mud, every lap it was getting harder and harder and it was just one of those races where you have just got to try and pace yourself in the first few laps especially. I took a few laps and then I thought I’d just attack and see what happens” he told CyclingNews website.

“I’m second-best in the world of cyclo-cross today,” said Pidcock after the race. “I would say I’m second-best in the world but sometimes I’m not. It’s unreal. Mathieu is one of the best riders in the world. I was second to him today. That’s incredible. I stepped up to the elite’s this season. I could’ve made it an easy time for myself by racing in the U23s but I’ve come to ride with the elites and I got onto the podium. It’s really pleasing.”

After a solid start from the second row, Pidcock found himself in the chase group with five Belgian riders during the third lap of the race. “That’s why I wanted to attack – I didn’t think it would be a good place for me to ride against five Belgians overworking me,”  ” To be honest, I didn’t think I would be that strong. This course and these conditions suited me so I was hoping it would rain because the explosive fast courses are not what I am best at. I like the more endurance, the slogging in the mud is what I am better at.”

Tom will now turn his attention to mountain biking as he explained in Cyclist magazine. “I’m training for Cape Epic. I’m going for the experience, I’m not going to be flying, but yeah I need to get in shape for it. I’m going to be doing some mountain biking World Cups and World Champs as well as Cape Epic. That’s what I want to do but we have to try and figure out how to get in the World Cup. But yeah that’s the plan. Andrew came up with the idea of Cape Epic and I think it’ll be pretty cool to do. Last year I did the National Champs and then I went for a ride with a friend in Girona, and he said “why don’t you have a proper crack the mountain bike worlds? I think you could win it if you go proper” and I thought that’s not a bad idea. So I decided I want to try and do that.”

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Under 23 Women – Bronze for Anna Kay

There was bronze for Anna Kay in the under-23 women’s race, with France’s Marion Norbert-Riberolle storming her way to the rainbow stripes. Kay was in the chase group sitting in ninth place after the first lap but was able to work her way through the field and led the chase at various points of the race. Hungary’s Kata Blanka Vas and Kay battled it out for second place, with Vas crossing the line first to take the silver medal.

“I’m over the moon, I didn’t expect it at all! The course, I wasn’t really confident on it, so just really pleased. I couldn’t have imagined having a better season, and to finish like this it’s been amazing,” said Kay after the race.

British champion Hattie Harnden also produced a great ride for 11th position, having chased the group of Anna Kay in the early stages, she was left to fight it out for a top-ten finish.

Junior Men
Rory McGuire produced the best result in the junior men’s race for Great Britain, finishing in ninth position. The young-Scot had a great start to the race making his way up to sixth position early in the race, before dropping back. He said, “It was such a brutal course and I made a few mistakes, so yeah happy with that. – I went super deep at the start because I knew once they’re going, they’re gone, I probably went a bit too hard, as in the middle [of the race] I went backwards but I saved a bit for the end.”

Oli Stockwell and Joe Kiely produced a brilliant ride to work their way up having started on the 5th row. Stockwell and Kiely worked as a duo almost, taking it in turns to attack the field. Stockwell went on the finish 11th and Kiely 15th, followed in by fellow Brits, Corran Carrick-Anderson in 20th and Ben Chilton 30th.

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Day 1
Three British riders fought their way to a top ten finish at the 2020 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships, with Millie Couzens finishing fourth (junior women), Evie Richards sixth (elite women) and Cameron Mason eighth (under-23 men).

Junior Women
Couzens showed her form throughout the race that she used to take the junior women’s national title at the start of January in Shrewsbury. Starting from the front of the grid, the first-year junior dropped to outside the top ten in the opening 300 metres of the course, before calmly starting to pick riders off and going on to taking fourth place. “It was so hard, but so good and the crowds were really good! I wasn’t really sure what to think going into it as there has not been many junior races this year, but fourth is amazing!” said Couzens post-race.

Josie Nelson, finished 7th after a fantastic race to work her way up the field, starting on the third row of the grid. Anna Flynn finished 15th and Maddie Wadsworth 24th.
Millie Couzens at the 2020 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships.

Elite Women
Making her return to the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships after having won the under-23 women’s title in 2018 at Valkenburg, and having missed 2019 due to a knee injury, Evie Richards grabbed a sixth-place finish in her first championships in an elite women’s field. The Trek Factory Racing rider was scuppered by a series of crashes in the opening moments of the race, one on the start straight as an Italian rider veered into her path.

Finding herself down the field and outside the top-15, Richards, not to be knocked off her stride set off on an attack in the opening laps to sixth position, where she would stay for the remaining laps, using all the energy she had left to hold on. Evie Richards at the 2020 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships. “I think I was a bit unlucky, there was three big crashes at the start. – I was on the back foot and had to make up the deficit on the first lap. I just tried so hard, so I can’t be disappointed,” said Richards.

Beth Crumpton would go on to finish 25th also in the elite women’s race.

Under 23 Men
It was a fantastic eighth for Cameron Mason in the under-23 men’s race. The Trinity Racing rider has been in terrific form in recent weeks and having started on the third row of the grid made his achievement even more special. “I’m stoked! It was a savage race, you’re just on your limit the whole time. – I’m glad that’s done – but I’m super happy with eighth,” said Mason.

A mention for Ben Tulett was well earned by the reigning junior world champion, competing at under-23 level for the first time at the championships. Tulett started from row four of the grid and found himself outside the top-25 on lap one. Tulett was lapping in sixth position with two laps to go; looking in a focussed mood, the youngster was disappointed to have a mechanical, being forced to run to the pits for half a lap. He would go on to finish 32nd. Ben Turner showed a late resurgence to take 15th, as Thomas Mein finished 22nd.

Results Round Up

Elite Men:
1. Mathieu van der Poel
2. Tom Pidcock
3. Toon Aerts

Elite women
1 . Ceylin Alvarado
2. Annemarie Worst
3. Lucinda Brand

6. Evie Richards
25. Beth Crumpton

Under 23 Women
1. Marion Riberolle
2. Kata Vas
3. Anna Kay

11. Harriet Harnden

Under 23 Men
1. Ryan Kamp
2. Kevin Kuhn
3. Mees Hendrikx

8. Cameron Mason
16. Ben Turner
22. Thomas Mein
32. Ben Tulett

Junior Women
1. Shirin van Anrooij
2. Puck Pieterse
3. Madigan Munro

4. Milli Couzens
7. Josie Nelson
15. Anna Flynn
24. Maddie Wadsworth

Junior Men
1. Thibau Nys
2. Lennert Belmans
3. Emiel Verstrynge

9. Rory McGuire
11. Ollie Stockwell
16. Joe Kiely
20. Corran Carrick Anderson
30. Ben Chilton


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