Great Britain Cycling Team’s Tom Pidcock won his second rainbow jersey of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Austria today, taking a convincing win in the under-23 men’s cross country race just two days after securing the victory in the men’s E-MTB race.
Pidcock started from 16th place on the start grid and moved himself up into second place within the first of the two starting loops. Going into the first of the four laps, Pidcock along with USA’s Christopher Blevins had powered away from the pack, with Pidcock edging the lead over the American rider by the end of the lap. From there, Pidcock extended his lead, gaining a one minute 23 second lead over Blevins at the end of the second lap and entering the final lap with a one minute 28 second lead. Pidcock crossed the finish line in first place, one minute 52 seconds ahead of Blevins who finished in second place while Switzerland’s Joel Roth finished in third place.
Speaking after the race, Tom said: “It’s super nice to finish on a high, and to end the season like that. It’s more a relief than anything. People said I could have raced in the elite race this weekend, but I wanted to end my time as an under-23 on a high and I don’t need to look back now, I can just move up to the elites.
“It was a really tough course, I felt terrible on the first two laps and then I still felt terrible for the rest of the race, I think it’s just a race where you’re never going to feel good. The downhills were really technical, very slippy, so it was a matter of keeping on the bike and the time was made on the uphills.”
Great Britain Cycling Team’s Charlie Aldridge – last year’s junior world champion – finished in 18th place in his debut year as an under-23 rider, while Sean Flynn and Harry Birchill finished in 32nd and 38th place respectively.
Qualification for the downhill events also took place today, with all the British riders safely making it through to Sunday’s finals. Tahnee Seagrave was the fastest British qualifier of the elite women, qualifying in fourth place, Daniel Slack was the highest placed in the junior men, qualifying in fifth, and in the elite men’s qualification, Matt Walker was the highest placed British rider in eighth.