Who is Tom Pidcock? Leeds-born cyclist wins Team GB's third Olympic gold medal in Tokyo
Tom Pidcock produced a dominating performance to win Team GB’s third Olympic gold in the men’s mountain bike race on Monday morning.
Despite breaking his collarbone only a couple of months ago, Pidcock completed the course 20 seconds ahead of Switzerland’s silver medallist, Mathias Flueckiger, after being handed a tough spot in the fourth row of the race.
The Yorkshireman can now add the Olympic medal to his long, impressive list of accolades and will claim Britain’s first Olympic mountain biking medal of any colour.
Who is Tom Pidcock?
Tom Pidcock is a British cyclist who was born in Leeds on 30 July 1999.
Pidcock’s parents were both keen cyclists and exposure to the sport at a young age has led the 21-year-old to the very top, winning a gold medal at his very first Olympic games. Tom only raced in his first elite MTB World Cup event in May and has now made Leeds and the rest of the country proud with Great Britain’’s first MTB Olympic title in the men’s Cross-country event of Tokyo 2020 in Izu.
Pidcock was left devastated at the end of May when he broke his collarbone after being hit by a car driver while training in Andorra.
Pidcock needed surgery after being catapulted over the vehicle, but the 21-year-old was back on his bike six days later.
Despite a destroyed bike and a collarbone that was now in five pieces, Tom didn’t let his injury stop him and his impressive performance to gain a gold medal two months later stunned spectators.
How did Tom Pidcock get into cycling?
Due to his parents love for cycling, Tom started cycling at a very young age when most children wouldn’t even be able to sit on a bike. At first Tom’s love for his bike was playful - going to the park and doing wheelies - until the age of 7 when Tom began racing near Swindon.
The hard work and early mornings began a few years later and Pidcock soon claimed his first major success with a win in Scarborough at 14 years old - the last and toughest race of The British National Youth Road Series.
Following an impressive ride up the brutal Oliver’s Mount climb, Tom wondered if he could make a great climber instead of a sprinter, like his Dad.
Tom progressed in his training and racing and, nine years after attending the London 2012 road race as a mere spectator, the Leeds-born cyclist has won gold on the world’s biggest stage.
What else has Tom Pidcock won?
Despite being only 21 years old, Tom Pidcock is adding his Olympic gold medal to a long list of honours that he has earned so far.
As a junior, Pidcock claimed his first podium finish in the UCI Junior Cyclo-cross World Cup in November 2017, before going on to win his first British National Junior Cyclo-cross Championships title in Bradford and a second World Cup race in the Grand Prix Adri van der Poel.
In superb form, Pidcock entered the World Championships as one of the junior race favourites. A brilliant performance in Luxembourg led to Pidcock becoming the first British junior to take the rainbow jersey since Roger Hammond in 1992.
Tom wasn’t short of victories during his teenage years, going on to win the elite race of the British National Circuit Race Championships in Sheffield at the age of 17, taking the title ahead of Harry Tanfield and Jon Mould. Pidcock also won his first British National Under-23 Cyclo-cross Championships title in Hetton-le-Hole, winning the race by over a minute from his next closest competitor.
After joining Ineos Grenadiers in September 2020, Pidcock won the Brabanste Pijl in a three-man sprint to take his first professional win, followed by a second-place finish in the Amstel Gold Race.
The 21-year-old switched to mountain bike racing as part of his preparations for competing at the 2020 Summer Olympics... and the rest is history.