With his spring road racing season in the books, Tom Pidcock has turned his attention to the mountain bike in recent weeks, recording his first win of the season at Sunday’s Swiss Cup race in Chur.
The Briton started his month with his season MTB debut in Guéret but was forced to withdraw before the finish with a mechanical issue. This time he had the beating of a strong field including Mathias Flückinger and Nino Schurter.
Pidcock was clear after six of the nine laps in the race before fending off Flückinger late on, surviving to take the win by nine seconds as Schurter rounded out the podium 47 seconds back.
The win bodes well for the first round of the 2023 UCI World Cup in Nové Mesto next week, where Pidcock hopes to go for the win and series leader’s jersey.
“I feel good now but in the race that was hard. I was maybe overconfident at the start pushing on, and then I was blowing for maybe half an hour afterwards,” Pidcock said after the race.
“Then I came back into it a bit. The race was quite cagey as the climb was so hard and also a headwind. In the group, we would go slow and then really fast. I think it was playing on people’s legs in the end.
“Mathias was super strong. He crashed and then came across to me, then he was with me at the top of the climb. He did a strong race. I was struggling a bit on the long climb. It didn’t help that I only did 20 minutes of the race last week. It’s good to get a full hour and a half in my legs – it’s very different to road racing, the efforts.”
Pidcock, the reigning Olympic champion in the discipline, now has a win in his legs ahead of Nové Mesto, where he took the win last year.
“Hopefully that’s blown out a few cobwebs,” he said.
“It certainly felt like it. Obviously next weekend is the first World Cup. It’s actually the leader’s jersey on offer as well, which I won’t get much chance to go for in my career I don’t think. So that would be nice.”
In the women’s race, Pidcock’s Ineos Grenadiers teammate Pauline Ferrand-Prévot took second in her race. The Frenchwoman, taking on her second race since moving to the squad, had won last week in Guéret.
Ferrand-Prévot couldn’t prevent Evie Richards from soloing to the win, 1:45 up the road. She did, however, fight off Sina Frei to take second in the sprint for the finish line.
“It was a really hard race so I’m quite happy with second,” Ferrand-Prévot said later.
“To be honest I didn’t feel really good today, so I just wanted to try and stay with the group,…
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