This is the bike Tom Pidcock rode to his first British elite men’s cyclocross title at Kent’s Cyclopark earlier this month.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
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.