Pidcock second in CX season opener

16 Dec 2023

Pidcock second in CX season opener

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Tom Pidcock kicked off his cyclo-cross campaign in style with a strong second place in Herentals.

The third round of the X2O Badkamers Trofee played out in fast, mild conditions in Belgium. Pidcock began on the second row, but after an opening lap spent finding his feet, found himself deep in the pack.

The Grenadier quickly battled back from 19th, moving through the field to position himself on the back of the second chasing group by lap two. One circuit later he was back in the top 10.

Up ahead Mathieu van der Poel impressed with a start to finish solo victory, but all eyes were on the battle behind for the podium places. On lap five Pidcock rode across the gap to latch onto the lead chase group, featuring Eli Iserbyt, Lars van der Haar and Neils Vandeputte.

Ahead of taking the bell Pidcock launched a big acceleration, and over the course of the final lap was able to maintain his slender advantage, seeing off the advances of Iserbyt on the final steep climb of the day. In the end Pidcock came home 28 seconds back on Van der Poel in a very encouraging start to the winter.

“That’s my best first cross race [of the season]. The first two or three laps I was finding my way. I like that course a lot, so hopefully today opened me up and tomorrow I can race well.”

Pidcock’s season continues on Sunday as he takes on the World Cup round on the iconic Namur course.