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Tom Pidcock rides away from Mathieu van der Poel to win Nové Město World Cup

Thomas Pidcock earns first mountain bike World Cup victory after dusting field.

Tom Pidcock rode away from the bunch in the opening laps, and wasn’t seen again at the Nové Město World Cup cross-country mountain bike race Sunday.

The young Brit blazed the six laps and one start loop in 1:20:55, winning at 1 minute ahead of Mathieu van der Poel. Mathias Flueckiger cross the line third at 1:15, with American Chris Blevins finishing 20th.

The win is Pidcock’s first elite World Cup victory, and the first UK men’s win since the 1990s.

Pidcock was over the moon with the morale-boosting win.

“I think I was born to do mountain bike. It’s what I’ve done since I was little and what I’ve enjoyed,” Pidcock said. “Coming here and winning an elite World Cup … on an equal playing field it’s pretty insane.”

In what is an important test before the 2021 Olympic Games, the race saw the two cyclocross stars dominate the race.

https://twitter.com/UCI_MTB/status/1393970555389370371

Pidcock was leading at lap 3, with van der Poel and Flueckiger chasing neck-and-neck through to lap 5. The Brit widened his gap from 30 seconds to 1:20 by lap five, and rode without risk in the final circuit to take a big win.

The win came on the heels of van der Poel’s victory with a bike-stab in the short track to open the weekend of racing.

After a strong cyclocross campaign and an impressive debut in the WorldTour, Pidcock only recently added mountain biking to his ambitions.

With the victory ahead of an elite field, Pidcock will carry momentum toward Tokyo.

Somewhat surprisingly, he is not yet officially qualified for the British Olympic team, but following his strong performances on the dirt, that seems to be little more than a formality.

https://twitter.com/INEOSGrenadiers/status/1393940164179865603

There are two more cross-country World Cup mountain bike stops before the Tokyo Olympic Games, but it’s uncertain if either will race. Van der Poel is slated to return to the road, with scheduled starts at the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France.

Pidcock is also expected to return to the road with Ineos Grenadiers, with likely starts also at the Suisse tour and the Tour of Austria.

Nové Město World Cup mountain bike (cross-country):

1. Thomas Pidcock: 1:20:55
2. Mathieu van der Poel,  at 1:00
3. Mathias Flueckiger, at 1:15