Tom Pidcock has decided to forego participation in the cyclo-cross World Championships this winter, as reported by Het Laatste Nieuws. According to his coach, Kurt Bogaerts, the 24-year-old cyclist will opt for a condensed cyclocross schedule, with a primary emphasis on races and events throughout the Christmas period in December.
Focus on December races
“There is currently no definitive, clearly defined winter program. But in any case it will be very focused, with an emphasis on the end-of-year period,” Bogaerts said. “He will contest a number of races during the busy end-of-year period. And then it doesn’t last very long after that. A bit similar to last season. The worlds? No, I don’t think so.”
Pidcock, a former CX world champion and the current MTB XCO rainbow jersey, will focus on the Tour de France and MTB races at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
This follows the news that the other member of the “big three,” Wout van Aert, is also shortening his ‘cross season. The Belgian is set to kick off his cyclo-cross season at the Exact Cross Essen on December 9. The former CX world champion, eager to make a comeback after a two-month break, acknowledges a conscious move towards a more condensed racing calendar. Despite appearing less frequently on the field compared to last year, the Team Jumbo-Visma rider underscored the strategic reasoning behind this decision.
“It’s a conscious choice to ride a shorter program,” the 29-year-old said.Contemplating the mental hurdles of managing a complete cyclocross season while smoothly transitioning to the spring classics, Van Aert elaborated that he “has decided for myself that I don’t want to leave anything to chance when it comes to the spring classics. That’s why, with a heavy heart, I’m riding a more limited program.”
Door open for repeat by MvdP?
That means it just got a little easier for defending world cyclocross champion, Mathieu van der Poel, to repeat the rainbow.