UCI XC World Champ: Pidcock powers clear from field for dominant title win
Briton adds to XCC bronze with brilliant ride over Glentress Forest course.
Tom Pidcock added the 2023 UCI World Championship XCO title to his Olympic title on Saturday when the British phenomenon powered clear of the field over the second half of the Scottish race after compatriot Evie Richards finished sixth in the women’s race.
After winning the Olympic title in Japan two years ago, the Leeds native was victorious in the 2022 European Championships in Munich and won XCC World bronze earlier this week behind champion Samuel Gaze.
This time around, Pidcock suffered another slow start from the fifth row in Glentress Forest as well as Kiwi Gaze and XCC silver medallist Victor Koretzky with all three trailing far behind the two XCO legends Nino Schurter and Alan Hatherly at the head of the stacked elite field.
Hatherly, though, started to suffer during the fourth lap with Pidcock moving to the front finally during lap five as 10-time champion Schurter tried to hang on to his wheel and Gaze inched closer up behind.
By the end of the seventh lap, Gaze had moved up to second in an effort to try and catch Pidcock however the 2022 World cyclo-cross champion was a class apart in holding on easily to win by 19 seconds.
Pidcock, 24, said: “It’s a massive relief. My gears were jumping all over the place and I thought my race could be over at any point. I couldn’t go properly because I didn’t want to put it under too much stress. It was a stressful last few laps.”
Gaze claimed silver and Schurter bronze with Frenchman Koretzky fourth and Romania’s reigning European Championships and European Games champion Vlad Dascălu ending up in a creditable fifth place.
Swiss rider Lars Forster ended in eighth, while 2023 Marathon World Champion Henrique Avancini of Brazil finished in 45th, Chilean Martín Vidaurre 48th and Denmark’s Simon Andreassen 61st.
2023 World Road Race Champion Mathieu van der Poel’s bid to become the first male rider to win cyclo-cross, road and mountain bike world golds in the same season ended early with a crash for the Dutchman.
In the women’s XCO race, XCC bronze medallist Richards finished sixth with defending champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot in gold, France’s Loana Lecomte in silver and the Netherlands’ Puck Pieterse earning bronze.