Pidcock battles back to win in Nove Mesto

14 May 2023

Pidcock battles back to win in Nove Mesto

Tom Pidcock claimed victory and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot took second place in the first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Nove Mesto.

The duo continued their momentum with a pair of brilliant rides in the Olympic length XCO events.

Pidcock battled back from a fifth lap crash to claim a gutsy victory and make it three wins in a row on the Nove Mesto full course. 

After a strong start, Pidcock battled it out with Joshua Dubau from the third lap onwards. Wet conditions made the course treacherous in places, with Pidcock slipping out on a left-hand corner and giving himself work to do in the final laps.

Suddenly 13 seconds back, Pidcock re-grouped and was able to rejoin the Frenchman heading into the final pair of laps. On the final loop he timed his attack well, opening out a gap to win by five seconds - pointing to his new Pinarello Dogma XC MTB after he crossed the line.

The win puts the Brit into the UCI World Cup leader's jersey for the first time ahead of round two, and marked a perfect weekend following Friday's victory in the short track.

Ferrand-Prevot was also involved in a thriller of a race, finishing second after duking it out with Puck Pieterse on the Czech course.

The duo were thrust into the fight for the lead when early front runner Evie Richards punctured on lap four. Ferrand-Prevot looked strong and began to apply the pressure, opening up a slender gap of seven seconds at the bell.

Pieterse however would not be denied, pushing on deep into the final lap to edge clear, aided by a mechanical for the Grenadiers rider, to win by five seconds. European champion Loana Lecomte was also a constant threat behind, finishing a close third. 

- Tom Pidcock

"Today was a hard race obviously. The conditions were super tricky. We haven’t ridden at all in the rain, apart from the short track - but there’s no roots in that race.
"It was tricky. I think my tyres were a bit hard and I was struggling a bit on the roots. It’s nice to win in the end.
"When [a crash] happens I think it’s important to just take a minute and don’t panic, and reset. I had a dead leg so I came to the pits, got a bottle, had a drink and got a gel. Then focussed and trying to get back from the front."

- Pauline Ferrand-Prevot

"I just wanted to give my best today. I tried really hard this winter. My goal is for later but I knew I was already quite strong. I just wanted to start the season well and give my best.
"I did quite a long training this winter so I knew I had good endurance. I didn’t know about my explosivity, so I wanted to try to build up a good race. When I saw Evie had a mechanical, I knew we just had to go full gas and don’t wait. The last lap I had a mechanical. Puck came back and I just tried to finish as strong as I could."