Tom Pidcock claimed his first win of the winter after an enthralling World Cup race in Namur.
his second place in Herentals 24 hours earlier, the Grenadier put in an assured
performance to overcome a number of obstacles on the way to a 15-second
win saw Pidcock battle through the pack once again, from 20th
on the opening lap. The Brit was quickly up to sixth, but on lap two suffered a
stuck chain on the famous course’s technical off-camber section.
Forced to go again, Pidcock had a 20-second deficit to overcome, but after slashing the gap on lap three, by lap four he edged by Joris Nieuwenhuis into second place.
Up ahead, leader Pim Ronhaar put up a spirited battle, but was eventually caught on lap six of eight. Pidcock then accelerated to open out a gap, only to puncture heading on to the final lap. A quick and timely trip through the pits saw him retain his lead, with no mistakes made on the final lap to take his first elite win in Namur.
- Tom Pidcock
"It was not simple but I can be happy with that. I learned from the last time I raced here – the last laps are where it really counts. If you go too deep at the start you make mistakes in the end, and I knew you can lose 30 seconds easily. So I was just waiting, waiting. Then I went, then I punctured! Then I had to go again. I was never sure.
"I thought after my chain got stuck and I came back, I thought 'okay, today I have a chance'. But it was not easy. It’s a course where you can’t really go into the red.
"I can’t complain. I did one [cyclo-cross] training session and then I raced yesterday. I’m quite surprised actually. My technique was already pretty good. I rode my mountain bike a bit on these Sunday rides, but not much on my ‘cross bike. I think I had quite a long period training – nearly six weeks – so I think my base is quite good."