'Tom crashed me out': Pidcock slammed by German MTB rival as he wins bronze at World Championships

Luca Schwarzbauer says British rider's actions prevented him from taking medal in Glentress Forest

Tom Pidcock
(Image credit: SW Pix)

Tom Pidcock was criticised by his German rival Luca Schwarzbauer for "crashing him out" as the British rider took the bronze medal in the men's elite mountain bike cross-country short track final at the World Championships.

Schwarzbauer was at the head of the action in a small chase group behind the eventual winner, Sam Gaze of New Zealand.

As the German rider took the final tight bend on the course in Glentress Forest, he and Pidcock appeared to collide with one another which resulted in Schwarzbauer being sent crashing to the floor.

Pidcock rode on to take the bronze behind Gaze and Victor Koretzky of France who took silver.

Speaking to the media in Glentress including Cycling Weekly, Schwarzbauer suggested Pidcock’s actions were deliberate and an example of bad sportsmanship.

“It's easy,” Schwarzbauer said. “Tom crashed me out, he completely rode into me in that corner. On TV, it's not really visible, but I saw a video and felt like he simply crashed into me and it's obvious.

“I'm super disappointed for sure because a bronze medal would have been pretty safe. He's Tom Pidcock, but that doesn't give him the right to do something like that.

“We have to analyse it a little bit better, and so far we didn't protest against it, seeing as he may be distanced, but this doesn't help me at all."

Schwarzbauer told the press that Pidcock had spoken to him after the incident but suggested that the 24-year-old had seemed unremorseful about his part in the crash.

“I said a few words to him and said it was a very bad move in my eyes,” he explained. “At first he said, 'It's part of the racing,' but then he realised I had crashed. But I think he knew already, when he rides like this I'm going to crash because he was straight into me and he used me as a barrier.

“Already before the corner actually he ran full gas into it and I think no mountain biker would do this at all, like a pure mountain biker, the community of us. I know he's Tom Pidcock and he's a superstar, but this doesn't give him the right to do that.”

He continued: “He's so aggressive, you can really see he's the most aggressive rider, no one else rides like this. You can do this but in my eyes it's not really sportsmanlike.

“Sam Gaze is also an aggressive rider but today he was the strongest. This is the way you win races. He really deserves it."

When asked whether or not there had been contact between him and Schwarzbauer, Pidcock told the media it was likely.

“On the last corner I went for the inside and pushed him out onto the gravel,” Pidcock said. “And then Luca's crashed unfortunately.”

In the build up to taking bronze, Pidcock stormed through the field and moved up several positions to put himself in with a shot at the podium.

Tom Pidcock

(Image credit: SW Pix)

The 24-year-old explained that he had initially ridden the short-track event as preparation for Saturday’s cross-country Olympic final and that a medal had come as an extra bonus.

“I think the guys in the front were kind of stalling at the top of the climb every lap, just sprinting and then stopping,” he said. “I would sit back and then try to come forward. "I didn't really know what was going to happen on the bell at the finish, I thought I would sit back a little bit and hope they'd stop in front and I could come back but they just went.

“I'm pretty happy. I only did this to prepare for Saturday but this morning I was pretty up for it and it's nice to have a medal.

“This is not really my sort of race so it's good for Saturday I think. My legs were not super but come the weekend I think it will be ok.”

Later, when asked for a response to Schwarzbauer’s comments, Pidcock told the press: "What’s that famous saying? If you no longer go for a gap then you’re no longer a racing driver.

"Of course I did not mean to cause him to crash and I’m sorry for that."

Meanwhile, in the women's elite XCC, Evie Richards of Great Britain finished third to take bronze behind winner Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France), and Puck Pieterse (The Netherlands).

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.