Tom Pidcock admits he was disappointed with his result in the European Cyclocross Championships, despite taking a top-10 in his first time at elite level.
There was also British success in the women’s under-23 event, as Anna Kay took the silver medal after a tough fight in the Italian mud on Sunday (November 10).
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Pidcock, 20, finished eighths in his first elite tier European CX event in Silvelle, having already won both the junior and U23 titles.
He said: “I can’t say I’m not disappointed with it. I knew it would be a challenge stepping up to elite and I knew it wasn’t the easy option, but there isn’t anything more to achieve in U23. I asked for the challenge so I can’t complain.
“Now time to get back to the graft and try to get the podium again.”
On Pidcock’s result, British Cycling cyclocross coordinator Matt Ellis said: “He was disappointed with the result, but he sets very high standards for himself, and that drives him on. He will keep improving. This is a massive step for him, to go up to elite level already. It won’t be simple, but we have every confidence that he will be at the front before long.”
Pidcock is focussing his attention on elite level cyclocross this winter, as reigning U23 world and European champion.
The elite title was taken by superstar Mathieu van der Poel, who was racing only his second CX event this winter.
In the women’s under-23 event, Anna Kay took silver finishing 12 seconds behind Dutch winner Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado.
Kay said: “I’m so pleased with how it went. I didn’t feel 100 per cent coming into the race, so I just went in with an open mind and tried to enjoy it and take the whole experience in. I’m so pleased, and just soaking it up as it’s my first major championship medal.”
Ellis said: “Anna’s race was brilliant. She rode her own race, picked upper own lines and showed what kind of level she’s at. The result surprised her, but it shouldn’t – she is becoming a very complete cyclocross rider. She ran well, was technically great and gave 100 per cent effort.”
There was plenty of British representation at this year’s Euros, with Hattie Harnden and Katie Scott taking 9th and 18th respectively in the U23 women’s.
For the first time, a junior women’s event was held, with Anna Flynn finishing fourth and Milli Couzens taking sixth. Josie Nelson was 11th.
In the men’s U23, Thomas Mein took 9th, Ben Turner 12th, and Pidcock’s team-mate Cameron Mason finished 13th. Double junior world champion Ben Tullett was 37th.
In the men’s junior race, Rory McGurie took 17th, while Simon Wyllie, Oli Stockwell and Corrran Carrick-Anderson were 24th, 26th and 30th.
Ellis added: “I was really proud of how the team worked and performance. I think every rider gave their all, and thought carefully about race plans. For a young group that this, that’s brilliant.”