This is the bike Tom Pidcock rode to his first British elite men’s cyclocross title at Kent’s Cyclopark earlier this month.
To be more specific, this is the bike on which Pidcock, 19, started his medal-winning ride. His TP Racing team whisked away the one he crossed the line on, probably because it was fitted with the as-yet-unlaunched 12-speed SRAM Red eTap 1x groupset. According to the mechanics, the bike had “prototype bits” on it that couldn’t be photographed.
Pidcock’s custom paintjob celebrates his Under-23 European Championship win: on January 13, he was awarded the British under-23 title in addition to the elite crown.
The conditions around the Cyclopark lap were very mixed. Pidcock started on the Challenge Chicane tyres fitted to this bike, which have a file tread in the centre for straight-line speed and knobbles at the shoulder for cornering and climbing. He used a relatively low pressure for extra grip.
However, noticing that riders were puncturing on the rocks and stones that were starting to protrude through the mud, he ran a grippier Grifo tyre with a high pressure when he changed to the eTap bike. It was a tactic that paid dividends: he crossed the line over a minute clear.
Nikki Brammeier won the elite women’s title on the same day, also riding a Specialized S-Works Crux.
Tyres: Pidcock started on Challenge Chicane Pro tubular tyres on Vision wheels, withthe ‘Seta Extra’ legend on the sidewall indicating that these top-quality handmade tyres have a silk casing.
Ceramic bearings: Although Pidcock’s groupset and FSA/Vision finishing kit were all bog-standard components, all the steel bearings in the bike had been upgraded to super-smooth, lighter CeramicSpeed ones.
Chainset: Pidcock ran a 44-tooth chainring on this SRAM Force 1 chainset. He was climbing in a high gear, though making it look very easy, and the numbers added up: he was lapping the fastest of any rider all weekend. The pedals are top-of-the-range Ritchey WCS XC with a polish satin Ti finish.
Paintjob marks the birth of a new cycling star.
Ceramic bearings cut friction to the bare minimum.
SRAM Force 1 chainset with 44-tooth chainring.
Challenge Chicane Pro tubs are the silk-casing variety.