Tom Pidcock no match for Mathieu Van Der Poel in Cyclo-cross World Championships
The 21-year-old from Leeds – a former junior world cyclo-cross champion and second in his first attempt at senior level last year – started well from the gun but was shuffled back by the time the race hit the sand section.
The two favourites Wout Van Aert (Belgium) and Mathieu Van Der Poel (Netherlands) established themselves at the front, creating a significant gap.
Pidcock finished lap one in tenth but battled hard to gain three places to cross the line at the end of lap three in seventh place and joining the chase group. Lap four saw Pidcock power away from the chasers, gaining in on Toon Aerts (Belgium), who was sat in third place, and very much back in the running for a podium position at the halfway point.
It was the bridge section in lap six where Pidcock made his way into third, but Aerts overtook again on the sand. From there, Aerts was able to extend his lead and, despite Pidcock’s best efforts held on. Van Der Poel took gold, with Van Aert in second.
Pidcock said: “I got a good start, but I just didn’t commit so I went back a bit then in the first corner I was on the left and in the deep sand, I had to get off and run a bit, so I was far behind and it took me a while to get going.
“On the last lap, I was literally one or two seconds behind him but coming into the finish he was in front of me so I wasn’t going to catch him.”
Fellow Briton Evie Richard finished in seventh place in the women’s race on Saturday.
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