Home > Cyclocross

Tom Pidcock soars to world championship victory in Fayetteville

Michael van den Ham top Canadian

Tom Pidcock added a cyclocross rainbow jersey to his Olympic mountain bike gold medal on Sunday, running away with the elite men’s race at the World Championships, the first Brit to do so. Pidcock attacked on the fourth of nine laps and soloed to victory. It was Great Britain’s second gold of the Worlds weekend. Michael van den Ham was top Canadian in 25th.

The Course
The Ozark Mountains route was fast and dry, unlike October’s round of the World Cup. There was a curving 38-step staircase, a long, steep climb that had proven decisive on Saturday, and a notorious, short, steep ramp that caused problems all weekend.

The Canadian contingent

Michael van den Ham led the way for Canada, with Brody Sanderson, Tyler Orschel and Malcolm Barton forming the Canuck quartet.

The Favourites

Many thought that in Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert’s absence, Brit Tom Pidcock was the likely lad. But World Cup winner Eli Iserbyt and a slew of Belgians had other ideas.

Dutch rider Lar van der Haar was the man on point on Lap 1. Belgians Laurens Sweeck and Michael Vanthourenhout kept close on his wheel. Toon Aerts led onto the big climb. Van den Ham was about mid-pack. Pidcock followed Aerts in the string. Frenchman Dubau led a group of twelve over the line.

Toon Aerts lead the string on Lap 1.

Dubau wasn’t waiting around at the start of Lap 2. Vanthourenhout took over after the long climb, but Pidcock, wary of being blocked on the tricky little ramp, went forward. Iserbyt was in Position 3. Van den Ham was 24th.

The string was still long on Lap 2.

Iserbyt took his turn playing the train engine at the start of Lap 3 of 9. Dubau was no longer in the group, but his French teammate Clement Venturini switched off with Iserbyt. Venturini’s pace made a gap but once it came back together, Sweeck put in a burst of speed. A leading nontet crossed the line eight-seconds ahead of a chase group.

Pidcock kept covering the Belgian moves on Lap 4, with Vanthourenhout doing the yeoman’s job of work. Pidcock tried to run away and it was Vanthourenhout’s turn to chase. Iserbyt didn’t look sharp at this point. Pidcock pried open a gap and Iserbyt himself had to pursue.

Pidcock gets loose on Lap 4.

Pidcock’s gap was 23 seconds by the end of Lap 5. Van den Ham had Orschel for company in 27th and 28th.

Iserbyt had to be wondering whether he was even going to podium, as Venturini and van der Haar were still in the chase with Vanthourenhout and Sweeck. Van den Ham bounced up to 25th on Lap 6.

As Venturini started to dream of the podium, Sweeck began to fall back of the chase. It would be European champion van der Haar making a move on Lap 7. Iserbyt got busy chasing.

Van der Haar wouldn’t be denied silver on Sunday.

When Pidcock heard the bell, he held a 27-second lead. Venturini’s podium hopes seemed dashed. Pidcock delighted the crowd with a kick-out. Iserbyt tried to make his move around his Dutch competitor late but to no avail. The Brit did the “Superman” over the line. Van der Haar dispatched Iserbyt for the silver.

2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championships, Elite Men
1) Tom Pidcock (Great Britain) 1:00:36
2) Lars van der Haar (The Netherlands) +0:30
3) Eli Iserbyt (Belgium) +0:32
25) Michael van den Ham (Canada) +3:42
27) Tyler Orschel (Canada) +4:12
32) Malcolm Barton (Canada) +6:02
33) Brody Sanderson (Canada)