Tom Pidcock’s stellar year continued with cyclo-cross victory in the Rucphen World Cup.
In narrowly denying Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout, the Ineos Grenadiers’ rider became the first Brit to win a cyclo-cross World Cup event.
Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal duo Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout led going into the final lap, but were cut down by a relentless Pidcock who led over the final jump and sprinted to victory.
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"It was my first as an elite so it’s a good day,” Pidcock, who won Olympic gold on the mountain bike in Japan this summer, said. "I need to recover from today and we’ll see about tomorrow (at Namur)."
There were no crowds on account of Covid-19 restrictions, but it did not deter Pidcock from overcoming some difficulties to cross the line three seconds ahead of Iserbyt.
"I was losing a lot of time in the corners and I was struggling to keep up,” Pidcock said. "Every lap I was having to chase and Michael and Eli were making it really hard for me. I didn’t give up and Eli just backed off into the final hurdles.
"They were riding super hard and I was just doing everything to stay with them but in the last lap I was able to keep concentrating and not make any mistakes and just come back."
In the women’s race, Marianne Vos showed her strength in the saddle to deny Lucinda Brand in a tight finish.
Jumbo-Visma rider Vos was put under tremendous pressure by Brand on the final lap, but had the stronger legs to secure victory on the line.
“It’s very nice to win the race, a World Cup in the Netherlands but without spectators,” Vos said after securing her third win of the season. “Anyway, it was very nice to take the victory.”
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