The Road to Rainbow: Tom Pidcock

Words:
Josh Duggan
Photography:
Charlie Crowhurst & Balint Hamvas

On Saturday, in the small coastal town of Bogense, on the Danish island of Funen, a new young king of cyclocross was crowned. 19-year-old Tom Pidcock won the 2019 U23 Men Cyclocross World Championship, taking the race by the scruff of the neck and never looking back. As the apparel partner for Tom Pidcock Racing, MAAP is celebrating too. We’re celebrating our first World Champion, and we’re celebrating our partnership this year. It’s brought success, growth, exhilarating racing, and now, some rainbow stripes.

 PidcockCollage

Pidcock entered last year’s World Championships as one of the favourites, having won the Overall U23 CX World Cup Series in Season 2017-18, but he fell short on the day. Another year older, and another year wiser, he handled this year’s run-in perfectly. As the Victory Champagne had been popped in his caravan after the race, he recounted last year;

“I think I learnt a lot from last year and the way to handle the pressure. It was different when I was a junior because I only lost one race and I knew I was the strongest, but last year I didn’t have that,”
 Pidcock1

The confidence he regained this year was crucial, and he won the race with a swagger. It was a dominant performance by Pidcock, following the strong tone that he’s set all year. As far as plans go, this one was followed perfectly -

“Take it easy the first few laps, get a good start, and then attack when the time was right."

The only moment of drama was during a bike change on the third of eight laps, when he slipped back to the tail of the lead group. He easily moved to the front again though, showing his strength, and before the race could settle, he hit the Belgian Eli Iserbyt with a furious attack and quickly gained a twenty-second lead.

 IMG 1
 IMG 2

Despite the course being dominated by long flat sections, the main obstacles were the steep hills along the coastline of Bogense, including some incredibly technical off-camber parts. The latter, Pidcock made look like child’s play, riding the whole way up when few others could, and he blew the race apart.

“Once I was gone and I had the gap… it was quite easy to maintain the gap. It was nice."

He wasn’t sighted again by Isberyt or Antoine Benoîts, the eventual third-place getter and Frenchman, until they stood alongside him on the podium. By then, gold was his.

 IMG 1

The result on the weekend caps off a dominant year for Tom Pidcock Racing, and it’s even sweeter considering that this is the inaugural season for TPR. The Rainbow stripes are now the fourth (and sweetest) Champion’s Jersey that Pidcock has taken this year, alongside the U23 European Champions Jersey, the Elite British National Champions Jersey, and the U23 World Cup Winner’s Jersey. It’s mission accomplished as far as this season goes for Pidcock,

“Four out of four jerseys. This was the last goal on the 2019 checklist."

The string of perfect results that Pidcock and co have brought home this season validates the decision to start a new team, a decision that’s not always as easy as they’ve made it look. It’s also a testament to the nurturing culture they’ve created, a sentiment that Pidcock agrees with,

“I think the environment is the main thing – I can perform my best here."

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0510/7809/files/PidcockGroup1-1_b2e45a44-1296-4646-b26c-f8fdd6e467e2.jpg?3153136941368857962_: IMG 1
 IMG 2

This year has been a wild ride; forming a new team can often be a turbulent process, but Tom Pidcock, Dan Tulett and Emily Wadsworth have all achieved unexpected success. MAAP is proud to be a contributor to this success, and proud to be associated with an organisation that’s supporting young athletes, helping them achieve the best results they can. Most of all though, we’re proud of Tom, our new World Champ.

Excuse us for now, we’ve got a new kit to design…