Promising Yorkshire cyclist Tom Pidcock will this weekend look to secure a hat-trick of major titles at the UCI World Cyclocross Championships in Denmark.
The 19-year-old from Leeds is already the national cyclo-cross champion – a title he won three weeks ago in Kent – and the World Cup Under-23s champion, an achievement sealed in France seven days later.
Now he can complete a glorious month by being crowned the Under-23s world cyclo-cross champion in Bogense.
“There’s only one more jersey left to win this season – the world championships,” said Pidcock.
“It’s the biggest event we ride, it’s the most important race we ride.
“Getting to wear the rainbow jersey would obviously mean a lot to me.”
Getting to wear the rainbow jersey would obviously mean a lot to me.Tom Pidcock
He already has one rainbow jersey hanging up in his wardrobe, the one awarded to him two years ago in Luxembourg when he won the world junior title.
The Under-23s title, naturally, represents a step-up in class of opposition, but in winning his national title and four of six World Cup races so far this season, he has already proven adept at claiming victories in elite company.
Nevertheless, memories of last year’s world championships, when poor preparation left him down the field in the Under-23s category, mean Pidcock is taking nothing for granted.
“Last year it all went wrong, the whole week I was just inside a hotel, whereas this year I arrived on Thursday, three days before, and I’m feeling relaxed,” said Pidcock.
Reflecting on his national title win in Kent in mid-January, Pidcock added: “Racing at home is always nice with the home crowds, and of course to wear the national jersey is always special.
“It’s given me a bit more confidence going into the worlds.”
Pidcock lines up in the Under-23 men’s race alongside British team-mates Cameron Mason, Ben Turner, Dan Tulett, and Thomas Mein. Ben Tulett is the reigning junior world champion and puts his title on the line.
Nikki Brammeier (elite women) will spearhead the team, and is joined in the elite women’s category by Helen Wyman and Beth Crumpton.
With reigning women’s Under-23 world champion Evie Richards absent due to a knee injury, Harriet Harnden, Anna Flynn, Maddie Wadsworth and Anna Kay – who finished second in the elite race at this month’s national championships – will contest the women’s Under-23 race.
Matt Ellis, British Cycling’s cyclo-cross co-ordinator, said: “I’ve been really pleased with the consistent performances of our British cyclo-cross riders at world cup level again this year, and it’s been a real boost to the squad to see Tom Pidcock, Nikki Brammeier, Ben Tulett, Lewis Askey and Ben Turner on the podium throughout the season.
“We have some real medal hopes in the team we’ve selected for this year’s world championships and I think we have some strong chances across the board.
“The course in Bogense was a venue in last year’s world cup series, in which Pidcock won the Under-23 men’s race and Helen Wyman came second in the elite women’s race. There have been a couple of slight alterations to the course, but we are mainly familiar with the layout and we know the weather conditions will be a big factor in how the racing plays out so we can prepare accordingly.”
“I’m confident we can use ourmomentum to finish on a high.”