Tom Pidcock closed out his mountain bike season in style with victory in Mont-Sainte-Anne.
The Brit took his second XCO World Cup win of the season, but success in Quebec marked his first victory in the rainbow bands of world champion in the discipline.
The Grenadier took victory by 26 seconds after a consistent race in tough, muddy conditions, which caused the riders to dismount and run on numerous sections.
After suffering two punctures a week earlier in Snowshoe, it was the turn of Pidcock’s nearest rival Mathias Fluckiger to hit issues in Canada, flatting from the lead on lap two and five respectively.
Pidcock made a solid start and was part of a leading group of five at end of the first lap. He was into the lead with a 16-second advantage heading onto lap three before Fluckiger came back to his wheel.
The pair pushed out their collective advantage together, but it would be Fluckiger who suffered the second flat on the penultimate lap. That allowed Pidcock to grab the initiative, leading by 33 seconds at the bell, before going on to take a comfortable victory.
- Tom Pidcock
"I was pretty motivated to win in this jersey. This week was difficult. It’s been a long season, I was tired and this was a bit of a struggle. I was feeling it, but you just have to keep a solid head.
"We’ve had quite a few battles to be honest. The Olympics [Fluckiger] was chasing me down for an hour. Here he kept me under pressure. I made a few mistakes – I kind of let him lead, I didn’t want to fight him in the descents. I didn’t mind that he was in front. But then when he made a mistake I fell off a rock. That’s when he got the gap with two laps to go.
"I tried to make as few mistakes a possible and also
conserve the bike. Mathias was flying down the descents like a mad man, but he
also punctured twice."