"If he wins, that's just a huge achievement" - Tom Pidcock's coach not looking to put pressure on before Mountain Bike World Championships

Tom Pidcock will be part of a star-studded lineup battling it out for the Rainbow Jersey in Mountain Bike at the Glasgow World Championships. His coach, Kurt Bogaerts however isn't putting any pressure on the Brit.

"I think he has recovered well after the Tour de France. Tom rested for a while and after a week he worked specifically towards this goal. He gives me good signals," Bogaerts reveals in an interview with Sporza. "He came out of the Tour well and I think he is in better shape than last year."

Alongside Mathieu van der Poel and Peter Sagan, Pidcock was subject to a late UCI rule change that has been seen as very controversial to some, allowing riders from other disciplines to bump up their respective starting positions despite the lack of Mountain Bike races throughout the year. Does Bogaerts feel his rider has gained an unfair advantage?

"It is clear that it is not easy to win if you only have to start from, say, the 7th row. Then you already have to close a gap of one minute," he admits. "It takes time before you can actually start your match. And for such a catch-up movement you need a lot of mental freshness, because the task is very tough anyway."

"You can't just show up at this World Championship and win, regardless of your starting position. To the outside world that seems obvious, that perception is against an athlete like Tom," he concludes. "But if he wins, that's just a huge achievement. Tom doesn't spend much time on his mountain bike. His last race dates from Nove Mesto in May. He hasn't touched that bike since."

If not Pidcock, then who does Bogaerts see as favourite? "I like to designate Nino Schurter as the top favorite. He deserves that as a 10-time world champion. But I believe Tom can beat him."

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