‘I didn’t think I would be that strong’ says Tom Pidcock after Cyclocross Worlds silver

The Brit finished just over a minute behind Mathieu van der Poel

Tom Pidcock has said he’s surprised with his silver medal at the 2020 Cyclocross World Championships, where he finished best of the rest behind now three-time winner Mathieu van der Poel, in what was the Brits first participation in the elite Worlds event.

“To be honest I didn’t think I would be that strong,” Pidcock said. “I knew this course and these conditions would suit me. It was incredible.”

Van der Poel showed his dominance once more in Dübendorf, Switzerland, leading from start to finish. Meanwhile, Pidcock fought hard to beat a number of talented Belgian riders, including Toon Aerts and Wout Van Aert, as the Brit finished 1-20 behind the superstar Dutchman.

“I am the second-best in the world in cyclocross today. It is unreal,” Pidcock told Sporza. “Mathieu is one of the best riders in the world, and I was second behind him today. It is incredible.”

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Having won the U23 event at last year’s World Championships in Bogense, Denmark, Pidcock explained that at 20 years old he could have remained in that category and most likely defended his title. However, he has now proved himself amongst the elite in the discipline, a feat made even more impressive coming off the back of illness last week.

“I went to the elites this season. I could have stayed in U23, it would have been easier, but ultimately I am on the podium among the elites, it’s very pleasant,” Pidcock said. “It’s also weird because I was sick all week. Since Tuesday I haven’t really ridden, but maybe it has been good for me. Maybe I should be sick more often.”

In the elite women’s race, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado was the best of a dominant Dutch trio who escaped the rest of the field early and battled amongst themselves for the podium placings.

Alvarado beat Annemarie Worst in the sprint finish, who was inconsolable after taking second place, with Lucinda Brand finishing third.

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