Revealed: Tom Pidcock’s warm-up routine ahead of 2020 World Cyclocross Championships

The Brit steps up to the elite men's race after taking the U23 title in 2019

After winning the U23 Cyclocross World Championships title in Denmark, one year on Tom Pidcock will fight it out with the likes of Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert for the elite men’s rainbow jersey.

The 20-year-old doesn’t expect to compete with the two former world champions, although he will be aiming for a top placing.

>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<

Reigning champion Van der Poel will be looking to defend his title, coming off the back of a successful transition to road racing in 2019, where he won the Tour of Britain and Amstel Gold Race.

He is the latest cyclocross star to set the professional peloton alight, and part of his success has been put down to the engine that racing cyclocross helps you develop. Rarely do you get any let-up, no time where you can just sit on another rider’s wheel, which gives you an advantage over rivals who have been brought up racing solely on tarmac.

To properly prepare for the fast start and the short, intense efforts required, doing the correct warm-up is of utmost importance, and Pidcock has revealed exactly what his pre-race routine consists of.

>>> Danger that Strava can fuel ‘obsessive tendencies,’ according to new study

“Getting off to a strong start in cyclocross races is critical so it’s really important to get our race preparation right,” Pidcock says. Indeed, in the elite women’s race in Dübendorf, Switzerland, three Dutchwomen broke free of the rest of the field within the first lap and weren’t caught before Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado had crossed the finish line.
“I warm-up on the Wahoo KICKR ahead of starting,” he continues. “Its an invaluable training tool as I know I can get the right session in whatever the weather.”

Tom Pidcock warming up (Wahoo)

Pidcock will warm-up for 30 minutes and to prepare his body for the high-intensity racing he will gradually build up the intensity of each set. He will include three sets where he’s at his maximum followed immediately by short rests and finishing with a cool down.
His coaches monitor his efforts throughout the half hours, “so I can make sure I’m hitting my marks at the set intervals, so I’m warm and loose,” he adds.
While you may not be able to replicate Pidcock’s attempt at breaking Van der Poel and Van Aert’s rainbow jersey reign, with either rider winning each year since 2015.
Tom Pidcock’s 30-minute warm-up
Select a high gear, but one that allows you to use the same gear throughout.
10 minutes: warming up – 90RPM
One minute: 370watt – intense effort
Two minutes: recovery – around 90RPM
One minute: 370watt – intense effort
Two minutes: recovery – around 90RPM
One minute: 370watt – intense effort
Two minutes: recovery – around 90RPM
15 seconds: Max Rev Out
Two minutes: recovery – around 90RPM
15 seconds: Max Rev Out
Two minutes: recovery – around 90RPM
15 seconds: Max Rev Out
Five minutes: easy pace with good cadence to finish off