It didn’t take Tom Pidcock long to transfer his impressive form from his debut professional road racing season as he returned to the mountain bike, winning his first race back by more than three minutes.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider paused his road season after Flèche Wallonne to switch disciplines to mountain bike racing ahead of this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
Despite not fully recovering in time from a crash at Flèche to race Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Pidcock had clearly brushed off any lingering bumps and bruises by the time of the Swiss Bike Cup in Leukerbad this weekend.
Pidcock’s coach, Kurt Bogaerts, had said in the build-up that this first race back was all about making the transition from the road to the mountain bike, but the young Brit wasted no time in putting the competition to the sword, the Frenchman Titouan Carod finishing in a distant second place.
After only 20 minutes of racing, Pidcock had gone off on his own in pursuit of victory, building his lead all the way up until the finish line, no disagreements over photo finishes needed this time around.
Following on from the Swiss Bike Cup comes a number of UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events for Pidcock, with a view to qualifying for the upcoming Olympics.
First up is the World Cup round in Albstadt, Germany, on May 9, before Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic a week later. Then it’s Leogang, Austria, on June 12-13, before hopefully the Olympic cross country event on July 26.
Pidcock has already impressed during his first road season for Ineos, taking his first professional victory at Brabantse Pijl only two months after making his debut.
When he returns to the road, he is rumoured to be making his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España in August.