Tom Pidcock won Sunday's mountain bike World Cup race in Albstadt, Germany, with a dominant performance, capped off by wheelieing across the finish line.
Competing in his first mountain bike race since winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Pidcock finished 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Nino Schurter to secure his second mountain bike World Cup win following his 2021 victory at Nové Město.
Racing around a 2.8km opening lap and six subsequent laps of the main 4.2km course, the 22-year-old launched away from his closest rivals on the third lap of the main circuit, ahead of one of the race's steepest climbs.
At this point, Pidcock claims the pace had dropped off significantly from the initial tempo, which saw just 20 riders left in the lead group at the beginning of the first full lap. This number dwindled to just five riders over the course of the next two laps, and the Ineos Grenadiers rider decided to produce a stinging attack that proved unmatched.
Speaking after the race, Pidcock said: “Well I guess I found myself on the front.
“They set off really fast in the first few laps, like really, but then we were going super easy and kind of keeping it together. Nino [Schurter] was pushing really hard on the descents.
"I just thought I would test the water a little bit and see where everyone was really at. I got a gap and that was it."
What transpired from Pidcock's attack, and the conclusion he no doubt came to himself, was that no one could match his ultimately decisive attack. The gap rose to almost a minute heading into the final lap, which Pidcock let reduce as he carefully traversed parts of the course which had become rain-soaked.
While he put in a dominant performance, he recognises his performance level isn't as high as it was last year on the mountain bike, understandable considering the amount of time he has had off it.
"I haven't ridden my mountain bike so much this year, so it's a different sort of effort [from the road]. Those repeated climbs and having to dig deep each time was harsh.
"Up those climbs, being able to go deep repeatedly and recover, it wasn't where it was last year at Nové Město or the Olympics."
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
Six most common cycling fears and how to overcome them
Sports psychologist Dr Josephine Perry explains how to put cycling fears back in their box
By Josephine Perry • Published
Five beautiful custom builds of the British Gravel Champs – from Cannondale to Reilly
We take a closer look at some of the most eye-catching builds raced and ridden at the King’s Cup Gravel
By Stefan Abram • Published
Best Buddies close US crit team, bring Tom Pidcock and Chris Froome on board as ambassadors
British riders will join Best Buddies challenge events
By Adam Becket • Published
Tom Pidcock's Link My Ride app set for global launch after receiving investment
Dutch Sport Tech Fund has invested in the social cycling app Pidcock co-founded last year
By Ryan Dabbs • Published
No time for a wheelie today: Tom Pidcock narrowly wins second mountain bike World Cup race