Rising star both on road and off-cross, the Brit chose to compete in the Europeans’ Elite race on November 10th, fighting with Van der Poel and Iserbyt: “No fear, I aim for a medal!”
To become a champion, or at least try to, you need to be brave. Despite being only 20-year-old and having the chance to compete in the U23 race at UEC European Cyclo-cross Championships in Silvelle di Trebaseleghe (Padua, Italy), on Sunday November 10th, Thomas Pidcock chose to challenge the top guns, and not to be an extra but as a real contender for the title.
Narrowing the field of favorites to only Dutch Mathieu Van der Poel vs. Belgian Eli Iserbyt might be a big mistake. This year Pidcock already finished third at the Superprestige’s round in Boom and fourth in Gavere, proving to be competitive at the very top level. The Brit rising star has a great feeling with the European Championships, as he got the juniors continental title in 2016 (Pontchâteau, France) and last year in Rosmalen (Netherlands) as a U23 rider. Last year he was even able to beat Iserbyt, the main protagonist in the early CX current season.
“I have achieved everything I wanted in the U23 ranks and I am looking forward to testing myself in the Elites – the U23 World Champion explained – I have never ridden the Silvelle’s course, but from what I can see it looks nice as the course features a bit of everything. It is difficult to say who is the favorite, it depends on how Van der Poel is going when he returns. Iserbyt is in really good form at the moment and has been nearly unbeatable so far. They are definitely the guys to watch”.
Pidcock is not in awe of his opponents and aims high: “I already won the European title among the juniors and U23, but with the elites it might be a little early. I’m always looking for win but this season for me is about to get used the elite level. My goal is to be on the podium and I would be happy with that”.
The Brit rider is part of a new generation of riders at the forefron on road from March to September, and on grass and mud from October to February as well. He came from a very positive road season with Team Wiggins Le Col indeed, as he won the Paris-Roubaix Espoirs, Tour Alsace and the bronze medal at the Yorkshire World Championships U23 road race, in his own country.
“I think it’s good to keep the engine warm in winter time. It goes a bit against the traditional way of cycling but our sport has changed a lot. I think what is new is that riders are allowed to race multiple disciplines properly now, where as in the past they might have been forbidden. My motivations are always very high, I love racing and competing. I would get bored if I couldn’t race in winter!”.
The event under the aegis of UEC unfolds along two days. On Saturday November 9th, 2019 the Masters competition will open the event, whilst six European titles will be assigned on Sunday November 10th. Sunday’s programme will start at 9.00 am CET with the Women Junior, followed by Men Junior at 9.50 CET, Women U23 at 11.00 CET, Men U23 at 12.20 CET, Women Elite at 13.50 CET and Men Elite at 15.20 CET.
Eurosport will be broadcasting the event all over Europe, while Italy, Belgian and Dutch National TV also scheduled an extensive live coverage.