Cycling World Champs: Pidcock and Richards shine in XCC as Hayakawa and Dandois earn BMX medals
British duo Tom Pidcock and Evie Richards warmed up for the UCI World Championship XCO races on Saturday by claiming bronze in the XCC short-track event on Thursday in Scotland as Japanese BMX sensation Kio Hayakawa earned silver in the men’s Flatland with France’s Matthias Dandois in bronze.
Pidcock has blazed a trail on the global cross-country scene after he became Olympic champion in 2021, then he followed up with the 2022 European XCO title as well as 2022 World cyclo-cross gold.
Leeds native Pidcock is more suited to the longer XCO, however he overcame a poor start to give himself a chance of an XCC medal which he seized by overtaking German Luca Schwarzbauer on the final bend to finish strongly in bronze as Kiwi Samuel Gaze held off France’s Victor Koretzky for the gold medal.
Pidcock, 24, said: “The first few laps were pretty savage. Not great position at the start, but my start is not good anyway then when I got to the front it was a bit better. It is always the case at these races, the positioning into the descent, no-one wanted to go first and it was getting a bit tactical. I was a bit far back, I should have been on Sam’s wheel. I am happy with a medal.”
In the women’s XCC race, Richards held the lead going into the final lap but defending champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot broke clear to capture gold with the Netherlands’ Puck Pieterse in silver and Richards bronze.
In 2021, Richards dominated in Val di Sole, Italy to become the first-ever British rider – male or female – to win the UCI MTB XCO World Championships title then the now 26-year-old followed up with the 2022 Commonwealth Games XCO title in Birmingham, UK.
In the men’s BMX Flatland final, Frenchman Dandois claimed bronze with a score of 88 that put him behind the clear champion Yu Shoji (94.16) and his Japanese compatriot Hayakawa (91.16) in silver as Spanish BMX veteran Jorge ‘Viki’ Gómez finished back in eighth place at the age of 42
The X Games on home soil in Chiba in 2022 was the 21-year-old Hayakawa from Nagaoka City’s coming out event globally and he stuck to the formula later in the year at FISE Montpellier to top the world again.
Meanwhile 34-year-old Dandois has dominated flatland competitions worldwide for the last 15 years with an incredible ninth BMX Flatland World Championship title coming back in 2021 at home in France.