Pid­cock’s win­ning run ends

Con­tro­ver­sial de­feat brings an end to Brit’s win­ning streak

Cycling Weekly - - Contents - Giles Bel­bin in Czech Repub­lic

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.

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