Pidcock’s winning run ends
Controversial defeat brings an end to Brit’s winning streak
Tom Pidcock’s winning run was brought to a controversial end at the cyclo-cross European Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic. Despite a series of uncharacteristic mistakes during the men’s under-23 race, Pidcock was still able to attack out of the leading bunch during the last lap with Belgium’s Eli Iserbyt. He was then forced to check his sprint as the Belgian appeared to come off his line in the final 50m.
Great Britain’s cyclo-cross coordinator Matt Ellis told Cycling Weekly that the team had lodged a formal protest but that the race jury had decided unanimously that there were no grounds on which to overturn the original result.
“We are certain he [Iserbyt] closed on Tom and we disagree with the decision,” Ellis said. “But the result stands and we can’t do anything about it. Our argument was that he was aware Tom was there and that he came into him but they’re adamant he wasn’t [aware]. [Tom] is about as annoyed as you can be. He was all for getting in the car and driving home.”
Pidcock was aiming to become the first rider to win junior and under-23 European titles in successive years but twice flipped over his handlebars when he tried to bunny-hop the course’s set of hurdles.
Pidcock later told CW that the sprinting incident “wasn’t that bad to be fair,” before reflecting: “My whole race was just pretty crap. I don’t even know what I was doing [at the barriers], I was being a right spanner. I spent the whole race chasing, I don’t know, [it was] a bad day. It happens. It’s sport, isn’t it. It’d be pretty boring if you won every race.”
“I think he was the strongest rider,” said Ellis. “He could have won that race. He knows that. He put everything into it.”
In the men’s junior race 16-year-old Ben Tulett put in a ferocious final lap to close within seven seconds of the leading pair and claim the bronze medal. “I saw they were sitting up and I just kept attacking,” Tulett told CW. “I was never going to give up until the end but the gap was just a little bit too big.”
GB’S elite women fared less well, with Helen Wyman finishing eighth and Nikki Brammeier 12th.