Tom Pidcock to begin cyclocross season on 19 November in Belgium

World Champion will compete at Merksplas Superprestige in Belgium but full details of Pidcock’s cross calendar remain unknown

Pidcock
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cyclo-cross world champion Tom Pidcock will make his return to racing on the dirt on 19 November at Merksplas Superprestige, Belgium. 

Pidcock hasn’t competed on the bike since the Tour of Britain, which was shortened due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II in early September. The Leeds-born rider hasn’t competed in cyclocross since decimating the field to take the world cyclocross title in the United States in January. 

Last week, it was understood that Pidcock was undecided as to how much he would compete during the cyclocross season as he is aiming for a strong start to the spring classics in 2023. 

According to Het Niewsblad (opens in new tab) he will begin his cross campaign in two weeks time. 

The competition in Merksplas is part of the Superprestige trophy and will be followed by the sixth round of the UCI Cyclocross world cup in Overijse in which Pidcock is also set to compete. 

Despite making a return to cyclo-cross competition, Pidcock admitted last week that he was still unsure as to whether he would aim to defend his world title in 2023. 

He said: “I don’t know yet, crossing in the winter and then being good in the spring classics is a difficult combination.” 

“I’m definitely going to cross, although I don’t know exactly how much yet. I want to have a good preparation for the road season, but next week I should know my full calendar,” he added. 

Pidcock has had a remarkable year on the bike which has seen him win various titles including becoming European mountain bike champion. He also won his first ever Tour de France stage on the slopes of the famous Alpe D’Huez climb in July. 

At the recent Tour de France route announcement, Pidcock explained that the punchy opening stages in the Spanish Basque Country could spark drama from the very beginning. 

He said: “I think it’s hard, it starts hard already. There’s no easing into it, straight away there’s possibilities for the GC to make time or even lose time. I think that also means there may be less crashes.” 

In comparison to this year’s edition of the French Grand Tour, Pidcock said that the 2023 route will be more extreme than the 2022 race. 

“There’s some big mountain stages and then quite a few flatter stages. So yeah, there’s more of the extremes than this year's Tour where there were quite a few intermediate stages,” he said. 

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