Image credit: Elisa Haumesser/British Cycling

Anna Kay won silver in the women’s under-23 race as Tom Pidcock secured an impressive top-ten finish in the elite men’s race at the UEC European Cyclo-cross Championships in Silvelle, Italy, yesterday.

Kay came home 12 seconds behind Dutch winner Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado, while after his move up to the elite category at international level, 20-year-old Pidcock underlined his enormous potential despite being hampered by a puncture.

Of her silver medal, Kay said: “I’m so pleased with how it went. I didn’t feel 100% coming into the race, so I just went in with an open mind and tried to enjoy it and take the whole experience in. I’m so pleased, and just soaking it up as it’s my first major championship medal.”

The Great Britain Cycling Team’s Cyclo-cross Coordinator, Matt Ellis, added: “Anna’s race was brilliant. She rode her own race, picked her own lines and showed what kind of level she’s at. The result surprised her, but it shouldn’t – she is becoming a very complete cyclo-cross rider. She ran well, was technically great and gave 100 per cent effort.”

Kay’s team-mates Hattie Harnden and Katie Scott finished 9th and 18th respectively.

Of Pidcock’s eighth place, Ellis said: “He was disappointed with the result, but he sets very high standards for himself, and that drives him on. He will keep improving. This is a massive step for him; to go up to elite level already. It won’t be simple, but we have every confidence that he will be at the front before long at all.”

Further top-ten finishes were secured in the junior women’s race, as Anna Flynn finished fourth and Millie Couzens fifth, while Josie Nelson rounded off an impressive British performance as she crossed the line in 11th.

In the men’s under-23 race, Thomas Mein was 9th, Ben Turner 12th and Cameron Mason 13th, with the youngest of the Britons, 18-year-old double junior world champion Ben Tulett finishing 37th.

Rory McGurie secured the highest-placed British finish in the junior men’s context, crossing the line in 17th. His team-mates Simon Wyllie, Oli Stockwell and Corran Carrick-Anderson finished 24th, 26th and 30th respectively.

Of the championships as a whole, Ellis added: “I was really proud of how the team worked and performed. I think every rider gave their all, and thought carefully about race plans. For a young group that this, that’s brilliant.”