Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) during World Cup Hulst, 2022/23 CX season. After a weekend of mixed fortunes, Tom Pidcock has pointed to his diminutive stature and weight compared to major rivals Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert as a serious disadvantage.
“I don’t have the weight and power of Mathieu and Wout. It’s hard to beat them in races like this,” Pidcock told In De Leiderstriu after Sunday’s Hulst World Cup, won by Van der Poel in his season debut. “I will also shift the focus to the road. [Light weight] has advantages on the road, but disadvantages in ’cross. Nevertheless, I will keep trying and the rainbow jersey will help a bit.”
Having started a couple of rows ahead of Van der Poel in Hulst and with his first win under his belt – Pidcock took victory in Saturday’s X20 Badkamers Trofee Kortrijk – the 23-year-old’s DNF does not do virtue to his performance on the day. Standing out in the rainbow jersey of world champion, which he won on the fast-flowing Fayetteville course early this year, Pidcock took an early lead on the dynamic Hulst course – where he took his second win of last season in January, notably the only race Van Aert started and failed to win, or even podium, after a costly mechanical, eventually finishing fourth.
However, a couple of stalls from Pidcock on the muddy ramps allowed Van der Poel to catch his young rival, and before long the Dutchman had gained ten seconds. […]
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