Tom Pidcock finished 17th in his first appearance this cyclocross season at the Tabor World Cup in the Czech Republic.
The Belgian Michael Vanthourenhout took the win, beating European Champion Eli Iserbyt by five seconds. Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert finished third, seven seconds further back, in what was also his first participation since ending his road season at the Tour of Flanders.
Toon Aerts and Lars van der Haar rounded out the top five, while Pidcock finished more than two minutes back in 17th place and Mathieu van der Poel’s brother David van der Poel finished 22nd.
It took until the final lap to separate the team-mates Vanthourenhour and Iserbyt, while Lucinda Brand beat Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Denise Betsema in the women’s race.
Van Aert said his performance was achieved by riding at his limit for the entire race, and that his podium place was only possible thanks to the three-time world champion’s pedigree rather than his form, saying there is still a lot of work to be done before he’ll be able to take a win.
There was also a win for Zoë Bäckstedt, sister of Elynor and daughter of Magnus, who took the junior women’s win.
Tabor was the first of a reduced five dates in the reduced World Cup series, with the next set to take place in Namur, the capital of Wallonia in Belgium, on December 20.
1. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauces-Bingoal, in 1-02-43
2. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauces-Bingoal, at 5 seconds
3. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, at 12s
4. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Baloise, at 18s
5. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet-Baloise, at 21s
6. Corné van Kessel (Ned) Tormans CX, at 51s
7. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans CX, at 1-01
8. Daan Soete (Bel) Group Hens -Maes Containers, at 1-05
9. Kevin Kuhn (Sui) Tormans CX, at 1-27
10. Diether Sweeck (Bel) Credishop-Fristads, at 1-42