Tom Pidcock, the reigning cyclocross World Champion is very similar to his career-long rival Eli Iserbyt when it comes to stature. There is a very big contrast when comparing to Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel who are starting their CX season eyeing the World Championships, and the Briton fears the weight difference may hamper his chances in some races.
“I don’t have the weight and the same power as Mathieu and Wout. It’s hard to beat them in races like this," Pidcock told De Leiderstriu ahead of the Antwerp World Cup where the World Champion will have to face the riders who have taken care of the rainbow jersey before him. It will be van Aert's cyclocross debut this season, and the first battle between the three.
Wout van Aert looking forward to battles with Mathieu van der Poel throughout cyclocross season: "I hope to fight some good duels with him"
Whilst Pidcock has proven to be a specialist in the hilly and muddy crosses, in the flatter races there is more equilibrium when it comes to him and the rest of the field, often also in tracks which favour the liking of Eli Iserbyt and Laurens Sweeck.
Although cyclocross is no different than road cycling where riders of all sizes can win, Pidcock believes it comes with a price in the off-road discipline. “I will also shift the focus to the road. [Weight] has advantages on the road, but disadvantages in the cross. Nevertheless, I will keep trying and the rainbow jersey will help a bit," he continued.
Pidcock's coach Kurt Bogaerts has said that “they have more absolute power, which comes in handy in the mud and in the sand. Tom is a lightweight, he is not far from his Tour weight at 58kg.”
The Briton made his debut in the season two weekends ago and was very close to his opening win in Overijse where he finished second after several crashes and mechanicals, but has taken the win at the Kortrijk Urban Cross this past Saturday. He was en route to land a second place in Hulst behind Mathieu van der Poel, but has suffered a mechanical inside the final lap which saw him abandon the race.