Tom Pidcock’s seventh place at Superprestige Increase might need appeared somewhat extra spectacular have been it not for the exploits of Wout van Aert, however the Ineos Grenadiers rider was nonetheless happy along with his cyclo-cross season debut.
Pidcock, like Van Aert, was making a highly-anticipated return to competitors after a profitable marketing campaign on the street however had performed down expectations given his prolonged winter break.
Whereas Van Aert made a mockery of his pre-race feedback with an completely dominant show, Pidcock fell extra in step with expectations, ending greater than two minutes down on the three-time world champion however up there within the thick of a subject which have been racing persistently since October.
“Fairly good truly,” was Pidcock’s evaluation in a video from his Ineos Grenadiers workforce.
“I used to be far-off from profitable, however I used to be good. Contemplating what I’ve completed, yeah, I’m happy. It was good.”
Pidcock didn’t make the quickest begin and needed to shut a spot to a number one group of seven on the opening lap, however simply as he obtained himself on phrases, Van Aert launched his offensive, storming clear up a steep muddy incline. He completed the lap in sixth place, earlier than consolidating his place within the ever-more-distant chase on lap three.
By lap 4, Pidcock determined he wanted to drive the problem, however his aggressive using led to errors. Twice in fast succession he wobbled and crashed going downhill, his white British champion’s jersey receiving two coats of the sloppy Increase mud. Whereas the victory was taken out of everybody’s fingers by Van Aert, the crashes successfully ended Pidcock’s podium hopes, and he rode on to safe a end within the prime 10.
“I had too many crashes,” Pidcock stated. “I’m a bit bruised now, and I’m nonetheless struggling to see.
“It was my first race, and yeah, not an ideal one to begin with, in these situations. There are all the time issues you will get, like placing anti-fog on my lenses, however they have been nonetheless fogging up so I had needed to take my glasses off after which I couldn’t see. All this little stuff. You are feeling like a numpty each time you do your first race of the 12 months, however it’s alright.”
Pidcock will now head to Mallorca to hyperlink up along with his Ineos Grenadiers teammates at a primary pre-season coaching camp, however he’ll be again in cyclo-cross motion subsequent weekend. He plans to focus on the World Championships within the USA on the finish of January and, within the absence of the Antwerp spherical of the World Cup, subsequent week will see a key level in Pidcock’s development as he traces up on the Val di Sole World Cup, which is about to be raced on snow.
“Now we go to Mallorca for a little bit of the coaching camp – I can’t do all of it – then into the snow subsequent week,” Pidcock stated.
“I’ve simply been trying on the forecast, and the warmest it’s going to be between now and the time we race, is definitely once we racing, and it’s going to be minus-two. It’s going to be bizarre. I’ve raced on ice however not snow.”
After Val di Sole, Pidcock will race three additional World Cups in Rucphen, Namur, and Dendermonde, earlier than a few Superprestige and X2O rounds between Christmas and New Yr, after which the Hulst World Cup on January 2. After that, he’ll take an extended break to participate in Ineos’ January coaching camp on the street, earlier than returning to ‘cross in Belgium the weekend earlier than the Worlds in Fayetteville, USA.
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