Tom Pidcock completelyto claiming gold – MATTHEW CHILDS. An hour or so after he had smashed the best in the world with a performance of such astonishing maturity you could have been forgiven for mistaking him for a veteran; Tom Pidcock reminded us of his real age.
“It’s my birthday when I get home,” the 21-year-old, newly-crownedchampion told a small group of reporters who had made it down to Izu from Tokyo for the day. “I’m going to get a shiny it around Leeds… ride around with a ‘bling’ bike.”
For the first time all day, Pidcock looked and sounded exactly what he was: a young man who had just won theof his life and was looking forward to enjoying himself. Until then, everything he had said and done had belied his age. The self-control he had exhibited, the racecraft.
From the way he surged from 29th on the grid to the front of the pack within the first few hundred meters, to the way he picked his way neatly past the spectacular first lap crash of pre-race favorite Mathieu van der Poel, to the way he slowed to weigh up the form of his remaining rivals before, on the fourth lap out of seven, accelerating away from them decisively toafterward, to the interviews he gave.
Everything he did bore the hallmark of a seasoned pro. None of which will come as a surprise to those who have followed Pidcock’s next big thing.. The Yorkshireman may be a new name to the wider sporting public in this country, but he has long been one of Cycling’s brightest young things. Maybe even the
Tom Pidcock celebrates winning a gold medal in the cross country mountain biking – Jasper Jacobs.
Pidcock was winning junioron the road and in cyclocross as far back as 2017. He has carried on winning at every level since. snapped him up for his Ineos Grenadiers team earlier this year. Pidcock wasted no time impacting the WorldTour, winning Brabantse Pijl, finishing second at Amstel-Gold, third at Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne, fifth at Strade-Bianche, and sixth at La Fleche-Wallonne, all in the space of his first few weeks as a professional.
Pidcock has prodigious talent and the confidence and calmness to translate that talent into results. Whatever type of bike you put him on, whatever company you place him in, he instantly looks as if he belongs. Nevermore so than on Monday. Up against the best specialist mountain bikers in the world, Pidcock looked completely and utterly in control throughout. He crushed it.
It was all the more special because he nearly did not make it to Tokyo. Eight weeks ago, a car hit Pidcock side-onahead of the Tour de Suisse. His Pinarello was smashed in two, his collarbone likewise. He was back training within a week in his home heat chamber, acclimatizing to Japan’s ferocious humidity in July.
That accident, and the race against time to return, partly explained his emotional reaction at the finish, collapsing into the arms of long-time coach Kurt Bogaerts. “Kurt spent so muchwith me after my crash, working together, planning every single day to optimize the limited time we had for this race,” he said. “This win is as much down to him as to me.”
Pidcock also hasCycling to thank. The governing body’s commitment in this beyond track and the road was the genesis of this MTB project, which has only really picked up steam in the last few months but which has only picked up steam in the previous few months but which now looks inspired.
Of course, there is no knowing how things might have panned out hadnot crashed, the Dutchman unaware that a wooden plank positioned beneath a jump in training had been removed for competition.
Interestingly, Pidcock was slightly defensive when asked what he thought might have happened hadstayed in the race. “He was in the race,” he said. “It [the jump] was part of the race. It wasn’t nice to see them, and I hope he’s alright. But he also came to Japan late. He gambled on that.”
years we have ahead of us watching these guys going hammer and tongs at each other.Poel’s exit was a shame for the fans who lined the route, making the most of Izu’s less restrictive Covid controls, But there will be other clashes. What a few
Whenwas asked whether we were living in the ‘Pogacar era at his most recent Tour coronation,’ he reeled off a list of exciting, versatile riders competing now: Wout van. Aert, , Remco Evenepoel…Tom Pidcock.
That is the esteem in which the young Briton is held. He has not ridden a and is already seen as a potential Tour de France winner. At some point, Pidcock will probably have to choose what he wishes to focus on; , one-day classics, mountain bikes. He could do any of them. And for now, he seems to want to do all of them. Next up is the Vuelta an Espana before he leads the British squad at the world championships in Flanders in the autumn.
But he cannot ride cyclocross and mountain bikes, one-day classics, forever, and expect to. Maybe you can if your name is Tom Pidcock? “I’ve got time on my side,” he replied, smiling. “There’s no rush. I’m an Olympic champion, so I must be doing something right. I will enjoy this first; then we’ll look at that.”