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."
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