Everything seems so simple to Tom Pidcock. The young Englishman hadn’t started a mountain bike race since his Olympic title in Tokyo last summer, he returned to Albstadt through the front door on Sunday by signing a demonstration victory. He gave the impression of doing what he wanted, managing his lead like a metronome, peaking at about forty seconds. Behind him the battle was fierce for the other steps of the podium. Titouan Carod could covet this second place until the last lap, eventually won by Nino Schurter, Vlad Dascalu finished 3rd. The Frenchman of the BMC team eventually finished 4th, a top 5 that confirms his very good start to the season.
After his triumphant capture of the Cyclo-cross World Champion title in January, as well as a half-hearted campaign of road classics that fell short of his ambitions, Tom Pidcock was expected to return to mountain biking. He relentlessly dispelled doubts. The Englishman was part of the ten-man group that had formed at the start of the race. He was also well placed when Nino Schurter decided to accelerate on lap two, causing another skimming. Then, at the start of the third loop, he decided to attack.
We were only just halfway through and the solo offensive may have seemed a bit premature. Pidcock had to manage the rolling sections on his own and rely only on himself. But that was really no problem for the Brit. Two laps from the finish he had increased a lead of about forty seconds, which he then masterfully managed to bring to the line. In a week’s time he will no doubt want to double the bet on Nove Mesto, at the track where he recorded his first World Cup win last year.
The battle for second place was mainly between Nino Schurter and Titouan Carod.
Behind an Imperial Pidcock, the battle was both intense and indecisive until the final round. It also had its share of twists and turns, such as Mathias Flückiger’s puncture that seemed very strong, and the saddle break of Vlad Dascalu, the Romanian, who again impressed by finishing third with a cannonball at the end. of the race.
Petropolis winner Nino Schurter failed to take a 34th World Cup win, but the nine-time World Champion nevertheless takes a very close second place, consolidating his lead at the top of the overall cup in passing. world.
Vlad Dascalu continues to assert himself race after race, the Romanian again taking third place, just like in Brazil a month ago.
Titouan Carod takes the podium in the World Cup with a 4th place. Hot, the BMC driver was a little frustrated because there was potential room to do even better: “A second place was possible. But on the last lap I got cramps. I felt very strong today and Nino (Schurter) didn’t seem impregnable to me”. A little later, just before the official ceremony, he understood the value of the performance better: “Last year was complicated. We’ve changed things with my trainer this winter and I’ve been in good shape since the start of the season, but without really looking for it. I think I still have plenty of room for improvement. In any case, I could not have made this good attitude concrete during the opening in Brazil, it worked,” confided the BMC driver, who had finished 18th in Petropolis.
Jordan Sarrou was forced to pull out on the opening round and was very close to the podium, finishing a handful of seconds behind David Valero, the bronze medalist of the Tokyo Olympics, the last member of the top 5. Sixth, appreciated the Specialized rider this result because the sensations of the day were not optimal. If the cursor moves up a notch in Nove Mesto, the “box” should be there…