Tom Pidcock annihilated his competitors to land a sensational first win in his cyclo-cross rainbow jersey, and first win of the cross’ season, at the X20 Trofee Kortrijk – Urban Cross in Belgium this afternoon.
The current world champion dominated proceedings at the Belgian race to land his first win in the rainbow bands in style, after winning the title in Fayetteville, USA earlier this year.
Behind the British rider, Lars van der Haar of Baloise Trek Lions and Eli Iserbyt of Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal were left to scrap it out for second place after Pidcock pushed on at the start of the second lap.
The “urban circuit” at the Belgian race seemed to be right up the Leeds-born riders street. Pidcock powered away from the rest of the field in the second lap, quickly securing a 10-second plus advantage that only fluctuated slightly in the final stages of the race.
In the end Pidcock crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of van der Haar, who outsprinted Iserbyt for second.
After the race, Pidcock told reporters that van der Haar and Iserbyt had pushed him all the way.
He said: “It was hard, it was just super fast. I got a bit of a gap, but I couldn’t really extend the gap. It was just always Lars and Eli chasing. It was a hard race trying to stay focused and keep my pace.”
“I kind of knew if them two came together they would be kind of thinking for the overall, and sure enough when they got together, I got a bit more of a gap. It was a hard race, similar to last Saturday [UCI World Cup Overijse]. But much better than that”
“I think every day I get to race in this jersey, it’s enjoyable, it’s a nice experience. All the fans they support me nicely in Belgium and that’s why I’m trying to learn a bit of Flemish as well. I’m going to enjoy this winter, I think,” he added.
Pidcock kicked off his cyclo-cross season last weekend with a double header on Belgian soil, the Merksplaas Superprestige race and the Overijse round of the world cup.
He looked to be in impressive shape in Overijse and were it not for a series of bad luck, could well have taken victory.
Jammed gears, a heavy crash and a broken shoe meant that Pidcock was forced to settle for second in Overijse, but he explained that there were still positives to take from his performance.
“I can be pleased, from yesterday I’m much more used to the race pace and the technical parts,” he said. “I can be pleased but it would have been nice to get my hands in the air.”
One week on and he’s now landed his first victory of the cyclo-cross season ahead of a duel with Mathieu van der Poel at the Hulst World Cup race in the Netherlands on Sunday.
Despite grabbing his first win, Pidcock explained that he would be well on his guard against van der Poel tomorrow.
“For sure we can expect a good Mathieu. We shouldn’t expect anything less,” he said.