Tom Pidcock was completely irrepressible as he sailed away from all his rivals to claim the 2022 elite men's cyclocross world title.
Buoyed by the absence of Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, and unshaken by the form of Eli Iserbyt heading into the 2022 title bout, the Brit rode a flawless race to claim the first senior world title of his career.
The 22-year-old had escaped into a front group on the opening laps, keenly keeping watch over his rivals and the Belgian contingent that was present in numbers. On the fourth lap, however, enough was enough, and Pidcock went on the offensive. Breaking away from the rest of the field, furiously turning the pedals, he wouldn't be seen again.
Comfortable, he kept a 30-second gap up until the finish line, where he lay flat on his saddle and recreated a superman pose as he claimed the victory.
In second place came the Dutchman Lars van der Haar, with the Belgian Eli Iserbyt third and claiming the final step on the podium.
“It was a super tough race. It was like war”, Pidcock said after the finish.
“Yet I saw an opportunity. That worked out well in the end. I think it might have been difficult to become world champion without Wout and Mathieu. Because they are not there, everyone expects it to get easier, which made it harder mentally.
“I had been in America for a week. That meant that the stress also built up well. I couldn't handle it very well. Fortunately, it has not all been in vain, I am curious what the rest of 2022 has in store."
UCI Cyclocross World Championships
1. Tom Pidcock (GBr), in 1-00-36
2. Lars van der Haar (Ned), at 30 seconds
3. Eli Iserbyt (Bel), at 32s
4. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel), at 52s
5. Clément Venturini (Fra), at 57s
6. Toon Aerts (Bel), at 1-02
7. Jens Adams (Bel), at 1-06
8. Laurens Sweeck (Bel), at 1-16
9. Kevin Kuhn (Sui), at 1-36
10. Daan Soete (Bel), at 1-44
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