UCI Mountain Bike World Cup: Pidcock storms to victory at Nove Mesto

Tom Pidcock
(Image credit: Michal Červený)

Thomas Pidcock ended a spell of 27 years since a British rider last won a mountain bike World Cup with a superior performance in the cross-country at Nove Mesto. 

The 21-year-old said he was “born to mountain bike” after riding clear of Mathieu Van Der Poel by a minute in the Czech Republic. 

Van Der Poel finished second after seeing off a challenge from Mathias Flueckiger finished third. 

Pidcock reversed the tables from Friday’s short track event when Van Der Poel sprinted past his British rival to win by a bike length. 

In the women’s cross-country event Loana Lecomte took a fine solo victory for the second week ahead of Friday’s short track winner Hayley Batten and Rebecca McConnell in third. 

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot had a weekend to forget after crashing out of Friday’s short track before having a mechanical and taking fourth in the cross-country.  

The second World Cup round in the Czech Republic included short and steep climbs with technical rocky sections which were wet and slippery resulting in some dramatic racing. 

How it unfolded: men’s cross-country 

Van Der Poel pushed the pace on the opening starting lap as the technical sections and steep muddy climb split the field with just Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team) and Mathias Flückiger (Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team) immediately able to follow. 

Pidcock worked his way forward to the leading group before taking charge and only Van Der Poel was able to respond with the duo having a lead of 26 seconds after the opening exchanges. 

After initially being gapped by the fast-starting WorldTour pairing, Flückiger started to make ground on the technical course. 

Pidcock and Van Der Poel were testing each other and their technical ability attempting to ride the rock section and rutted climbs. 

On the third of six laps, Pidcock attacked at the top of a grueling climb quickly distancing his rival and clocking the fastest lap time of the race to quickly acquire a lead of 31 seconds. 

The Ineos Grenadiers rider was a man on a mission using his skills to comfortably ride the rock-garden section as his lead continued to grow.  

As the gap grew to over a minute with two laps remaining Flückiger joined van der Poel in the battle for second. 

Flückiger tried to attack his fellow chaser before van der Poel responded on the descent back down to the finish to pull out a gap. 

Pidcock had time to celebrate his win a minute ahead of van der Poel who was 15 seconds ahead of Flueckiger. 

Strangely, the 17th place for Romanian’s Vlad Dascalu looked to have secured Great Britain a spot in the men’s race at the Olympic Games. 

“I think I was born to do mountain biking,” said Pidcock. 

“It sounds stupid but it’s what I’ve done since I was little and what I’ve enjoyed the most. Coming here and winning an elite World Cup at the second attempt, but the first at an equal playing field is insane. 

“I’m certainly in great shape, I’m going to take a break now and then build hopefully towards the Olympics, I think I’ve shown what I can do on a mountain bike, I guess.” 

Meanwhile, Van Der Poel said he had no response to the attack of Pidcock. 

He added: “I’m happy, I was good at my own pace but had to response when Tom (Pidcock) attacked. 

“He was really strong today and I’m happy I could ride to second place. I didn’t really have the feeling that I had burned myself or needed to slow down it’s just that Tom accelerated on the steepest climb here. 

“He’s very lightweight of course. I was good at my own pace but didn’t have that real attack in my legs, I hope that will come soon. 

“I had to recover after Tom attacked but rode a pretty steady second half of the race so I can be happy with that.  

“I should be okay with some more training and I hope to be at my top level in a few months. 

Loana Lecomte

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

How it unfolded: women’s cross-country 

After crashing out in Friday’s short track event Ferrand-Prevot (Absolute-Absalon- BMC) was forced to work her way through the field after a poor gridding position. 

A steep wooded climb with wet routes on the start lap saw several riders crash and nearly every rider was forced to run. 

The tough course soon split the field with Lecomte (Massi) having a slender lead from Batten (Trinity Racing MTB) and Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team). 

On the first full lap - as she did in the opening World Cup round - Lecomte stretched her advantage looking to take another solo win. 

After winning Friday’s short track event Batten used her climbing ability to put her rivals under pressure and on a fast descent section, Courtney crashed out bending a break leaver and leaving Ferrand-Prevot chasing in third. 

Technical problems plagued a host of riders including Ferrand-Prevot who had to stop to fix a problem dropping down to fourth while a charging Rebecca McConnell (Primaflor Mondraker XSauce) joined and passed Batten in the battle for second. 

Batten has been trailing McConnell until the last lap before having her competitor in sight and using her strength in the climb to pull out an advantage for second. 

Lecomte took a comfortable win, 1 minute and 39 seconds ahead of Batten with McConnell a further 12 seconds back and Ferrand-Prevot fourth. 

“I wanted to be on the podium here today but I won and I didn’t expect that,” said Lecomte 

“It’s a bit unbelievable as I have the leader’s jersey (overall World Cup) which I just enjoy, I’m so happy. 

“I had a little stupid crash (in the short track) but it was not very important crash and my goal is on the Sunday race (cross-country). 

“I felt very good and I was in shape, these two World Cup have been race qualification for the Olympic Games so I had to be in shape. My coach did a good job.” 

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UCI MTB World Cup XCO Nove Mesto 2021: Full Results: Men
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas Pidcock (Great Britain) 1:20:55
2Mathieu Van der Poel (Netherlands) 0:01:00
3Mathias Flueckiger (Switzerland) 0:01:15
4Ondřej Cink (Czech Republic) 0:02:00
5Jordan Sarrou (France) 0:02:21
6Alan Hatherly (South Africa) 0:02:28
7Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 0:03:04
8Anton Cooper (New Zealand) 0:03:14
9Titouan Carod (France) 0:03:37
10Thomas Griot (France) 0:03:51
11Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Denmark) 0:04:11
12Bartlomiej Wawak (Poland) 0:04:38
13Luca Braidot (Italy) 0:04:48
14Milan Vader (Netherlands) 0:04:55
15David Valero Serrano (Spain) 0:04:58
16Joshua Dubau (France) 0:05:05
17Vlad Dascalu (Romania) 0:05:11
18Nadir Colledani (Italy) 0:05:14
19Leandre Bouchard (Canada)
20Christopher Blevins (United States Of America) 0:05:25
21Antoine Philipp (France) 0:05:31
22Thomas Litscher (Switzerland) 0:05:49
23Henrique Avancini (Brazil) 0:06:08
24Victor Koretzky (France) 0:06:10
25Pierre De Froidmont (Belgium)
26Lukas Flückiger (Switzerland) 0:06:11
27Vital Albin (Switzerland) 0:06:17
28Lars Forster (Switzerland) 0:06:28
29Jofre Cullell Estape (Spain) 0:06:33
30Anton Sintsov (Russian Federation) 0:06:45
31Gioele Bertolini (Italy) 0:06:50
32Maxime Marotte (France) 0:06:56
33Mirko Tabacchi (Italy) 0:07:03
34Jens Schuermans (Belgium) 0:07:12
35Marcel Guerrini (Switzerland) 0:07:17
36Samuel Gaze (New Zealand) 0:07:20
37Manuel Fumic (Germany) 0:07:21
38Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Italy) 0:07:24
39Luca Schwarzbauer (Germany) 0:07:30
40Julian Schelb (Germany) 0:07:34
41Ismael Esteban Aguero (Spain) 0:07:36
42Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo (Mexico) 0:07:39
43Reto Indergand (Switzerland)
44Peter Disera (Canada) 0:07:40
45Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spain)
46Karl Markt (Austria) 0:07:48
47Martins Blums (Latvia)
48Stephane Tempier (France) 0:07:51
49Sean Fincham (Canada) 0:08:02
50Niklas Schehl (Germany) 0:08:04
51Jan Vastl (Czech Republic) 0:08:11
52Simon Andreassen (Denmark) 0:08:18
53Jan Škarnitzl (Czech Republic) 0:08:23
54Catriel Soto (Argentina) 0:08:36
55Gregor Raggl (Austria) 0:08:44
56Luiz Henrique Cocuzzi (Brazil) 0:08:47
57Daan Soete (Belgium)
58Keegan Swenson (United States Of America) 0:08:53
59Andrew L'Esperance (Canada)
60Andri Frischknecht (Switzerland) 0:09:07
61Dmytro Titarenko (Ukraine) 0:09:11
62Jonas Lindberg (Denmark) 0:09:20
63Marc Andre Fortier (Canada) 0:09:34
64Erik Hægstad (Norway) 0:09:57
65Thibault Daniel (France) 0:09:58
66Georg Egger (Germany) 0:10:01
67Simon Vitzthum (Switzerland) 0:10:03
68Andrin Beeli (Switzerland) 0:10:27
69Krzysztof Lukasik (Poland) 0:10:52
70Pablo Rodriguez Guede (Spain) 0:11:27
71Hugo Drechou (France)
72Basile Allard (France)
73Emil Lindgren (Sweden)
74Emil Hasund Eid (Norway)
75Guilherme Gotardelo Muller (Brazil)
76Ben Oliver (New Zealand)
77Mário Costa (Portugal)
78Tyler Orschel (Canada)
79Shlomi Haimy (Israel)
80Bruno Vitali (Switzerland)
81Josef Jelínek (Czech Republic)
82Ivan Filatov (Russian Federation)
83Maxime Loret (France)
84Matej Ulik (Slovakia)
85Nick Burki (Switzerland)
86Clément Auvin (France)
87Filip Helta (Poland)
88Quinton Disera (Canada)
89Dimitrios Antoniadis (Greece)
90Frazer Clacherty (Great Britain)
91Nicolas Delich Pardo (Chile)
92Luis Neff (Germany)
93Raphael Auclair (Canada)
94Pierre-geoffroy Plantet (France)
95Fabian Giger (Switzerland)
96Ulan Bastos Galinski (Brazil)
97Fabio Hernando Castañeda Monsalve (Colombia)
98Tomáš Paprstka (Czech Republic)
99Martin Haring (Slovakia)
100Daniel Mcconnell (Australia)
101Rok Naglič (Slovenia)
102Kohei Yamamoto (Japan)
103Joris Ryf (Switzerland)
104Cole Paton (United States Of America)
105Jhonatan Botero Villegas (Colombia)
106András Parti (Hungary)
107Silas Graf (Germany)
108Alex Bregenzer (Germany)
109Moritz Bscherer (Austria)
110Florian Trigo (France)
111Sebastian Miranda Maldonado (Chile)
112Tomáš Ševců (Czech Republic)
113Gioele De Cosmo (Italy)
114Timofei Ivanov (Russian Federation)
115Oleksandr Koniaiev (Ukraine)
116Sam De Nijs (Netherlands)
117Kevin Krieg (Switzerland)
118Karol Ostaszewski (Poland)
119David Bártek (Czech Republic)
120Sascha Weber (Germany)
121Alexandre Vialle (Canada)
122Arthur Tropardy (France)
123Lorenzo Serres (France)
124Raphael Gagne (Canada)
125Tim Feinauer (Germany)
126Felix Belhumeur (Canada)
127Rob Vanden Haesevelde (Belgium)
128Florian Wimmer (Austria)
129Zdeněk Vobecký (Czech Republic)
130Tristan De Lange (Namibia)
131Ede-karoly Molnar (Romania)
132Fabian Costa (Austria)
133Wim De Bruin (Netherlands)
134Periklis Ilias (Greece)
135Gregor Dimic (Slovenia)
136Charoun Molla Amet ali Oglou (Greece)
137Lucian Logigan (Romania)
138Pau Romero Barcelo (Spain)
139Abdulkadir Kelleci (Turkey)
140Serdar Depe (Turkey)
141George-vlad Sabau (Romania)
DNFUrsin Spescha (Switzerland)
DNFMatthias Stirnemann (Switzerland)
DNFMaximilian Foidl (Austria)
DNFMaximilian Brandl (Germany)
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UCI MTB World Cup XCO Nove Mesto 2021: Full Results: Women
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Loana Lecomte (France) 1:25:13
2Haley Batten (United States Of America) 0:01:39
3Rebecca Mcconnell (Australia) 0:01:51
4Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) 0:02:10
5Evie Richards (Great Britain) 0:02:27
6Linda Indergand (Switzerland) 0:02:50
7Sina Frei (Switzerland) 0:03:22
8Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) 0:03:39
9Anne Terpstra (Netherlands) 0:04:06
10Anne Tauber (Netherlands) 0:04:33
11Nicole Koller (Switzerland) 0:04:42
12Alessandra Keller (Switzerland) 0:05:15
13Eva Lechner (Italy) 0:05:23
14Janika Lõiv (Estonia) 0:05:30
15Annie Last (Great Britain) 0:05:34
16Erin Huck (United States Of America) 0:06:10
17Emily Batty (Canada) 0:06:20
18Ronja Eibl (Germany) 0:06:21
19Lena Gerault (France)
20Daniela Campuzano Chavez Peon (Mexico) 0:06:34
21Nina Benz (Germany) 0:06:37
22Rocio del Alba Garcia Martinez (Spain) 0:06:41
23Catharine Pendrel (Canada) 0:06:47
24Ramona Forchini (Switzerland) 0:06:50
25Martina Berta (Italy) 0:06:54
26Jennifer Jackson (Canada) 0:06:56
27Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) 0:06:57
28Hélène Clauzel (France) 0:07:12
29Tereza Tvarůžková (Czech Republic) 0:07:26
30Kristina Ilina (Russian Federation) 0:07:53
31Mariske Strauss (South Africa) 0:08:08
32Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Netherlands) 0:08:18
33Githa Michiels (Belgium) 0:08:22
34Jitka Čábelická (Czech Republic) 0:08:36
35Greta Seiwald (Italy) 0:08:43
36Katarzyna Solus-miskowicz (Poland) 0:08:44
37Sophie von Berswordt (Netherlands) 0:08:45
38Elisabeth Brandau (Germany) 0:09:07
39Giorgia Marchet (Italy) 0:09:14
40Tanja Žakelj (Slovenia) 0:09:25
41Kate Courtney (United States Of America) 0:09:33
42Haley Smith (Canada) 0:09:51
43Lea Davison (United States Of America) 0:09:53
44Elisabeth Osl (Austria) 0:09:54
45Barbara Benkó (Hungary) 0:10:01
46Lotte Koopmans (Netherlands) 0:10:02
47Candice Lill (South Africa) 0:10:20
48Sofia Gomez Villafane (Argentina) 0:10:29
49Hannah Finchamp (United States Of America) 0:10:56
50Andrea Waldis (Switzerland) 0:11:15
51Karla Štěpánová (Czech Republic) 0:11:19
52Steffi Häberlin (Switzerland) 0:11:29
53Laurie Arseneault (Canada) 0:11:34
54Perrine Clauzel (France) 0:11:42
55Natalia Fischer Egusquiza (Spain) 0:11:51
56Isla Short (Great Britain) 0:11:56
57Kelsey Urban (United States Of America) 0:11:59
58Sandra Walter (Canada) 0:12:20
59Lucie Urruty (France) 0:12:41
60Gabriela Wojtyla (Poland) 0:12:48
61Jana Czeczinkarová (Czech Republic) 0:13:02
62Raiza Goulao Henrique (Brazil) 0:13:05
63Seraina Leugger (Switzerland) 0:13:26
64Chloe Woodruff (United States Of America) 0:13:27
65Nadja Heigl (Austria) 0:13:42
66Kim Ames (Germany) 0:13:45
67Klaudia Czabok (Poland) 0:14:10
68Charline Fragnière (Switzerland) 0:14:22
69Iryna Popova (Ukraine)
70Chrystelle Baumann (Switzerland)
71Ann-dorthe Lisbygd (Denmark)
72Janina Wüst (Switzerland)
73Viktoria Kirsanova (Russian Federation)
74Margot Moschetti (France)
75Theresia Schwenk (Germany)
76Cindy Montambault (Canada)
77Paula Gorycka (Poland)
78Janka Keseg Stevkova (Slovakia)
79Josefina Casadey (Argentina)
80Emma Belforth (Sweden)
81Barbara Borowiecka (Poland)
82Vera Medvedeva (Russian Federation)
83Mari-liis Mõttus (Estonia)
84Constance Valentin (France)
85Agustina Maria Apaza (Argentina)
86Joana Monteiro (Portugal)
87Naama Noyman (Israel)
88Jaqueline Mourao (Brazil)
89Iryna Slobodyan (Ukraine)
90Faranak Partoazar (Islamic Republic of Iran)
91Maria Fernanda Castro Gonzalez (Chile)
DNFLaura Stigger (Austria)
DNFJenny Rissveds (Sweden)
DNFAnna Spielmann (Austria)
DNFAdelheid Morath (Germany)
DNFChiara Teocchi (Italy)
DNFNadine Rieder (Germany)
DNFJovana Crnogorac (Serbia)
DNFSara Öberg (Sweden)
DNFYana Belomoina (Ukraine)
DNFLinn Gustafzzon (Sweden)