Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Tom Pidcock says ‘I’m always better when I take control’

The Brit takes a gold medal less than two months after breaking his collarbone after he was hit by a car

Tom Pidcock celebrates his Olympic gold
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Tom Pidcock says he wanted to take control early in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics mountain bike event, as he took gold on his debut in the games.

The 21-year-old from Leeds in Yorkshire attacked his rivals 44-minutes into the 80-minute event, riding away from Switzerland’s Mathias Flückiger and never looking back.

Pidcock’s route to the Tokyo Olympics was far from straight forward, as he only qualified for the games in May, before suffering a broken collarbone shortly after when he was hit by a car while training. 

Despite the uncertainty, Pidcock delivered a confident performance on Monday (July 26) to secure gold, as his main rival Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) was forced to abandon after an early crash.

Pidcock said: “It’s nothIng like any other race. The Olympics just transcends any sport. You compete and represent your country and everyone in your country is behind you, no matter what sports they like.

“It’s just national pride, it’s unbelievable.” 

Pidcock’s decisive attack came on the third lap of the seven-lap race, as he dropped the Swiss duo Nino Schurter and Mathias Flückiger to fly away on the course, winning by 20 seconds over Flückiger after an hour and 25 minutes of racing. 

>>> Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games cycling schedule: when to watch the racing

He added: “It's been a such a hard time coming here from crashing and breaking my collarbone [in May] and that's just unbelievable.

"I'm always better when I take control myself. I take my own lines, my own speed. Once we started I was fine, all the nerves kind of went and I concentrated on the race. I'm happy this [the Olympic Games] is only every four years because it's stressful.

"I know that my mum and girlfriend are crying at home. It's sad that they can't be here but I see them when I get home."  

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.