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

Tom Pidcock at the British National Cyclocross Championships 2020 (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

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.

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"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

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.