That on the covers they always look Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van AertIt does not mean that the fact that it does not appear so assiduously in them is not incredibly good. So yes, let’s put the spotlight on Thomas Pidcock. Let’s go over putting the dots on the i’s. The third in -every time- less discord in the Holy Trinity of world cycling. Three weirdos who are breaking the rules of a well-to-do sport. That in football, Sergio Ramos he scores goals that give titles, which in basketball Lebron James he annihilates you with triples, dunks or blocks, which in tennis Nadal, Djokovic and Federer they have won everything on all surfaces … why in the world of cycling it was not going to be possible to make the unusual a habit.
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The problem – blessed problem – is that this is already beginning to be a matter of customs. A few years ago we would have literally cracked our asses if they told us there was three ‘kamikazes’, come from cyclocross, winning in the same wild way the Mountain Bike tests as those of the road. And I’m not talking about village races. I’m talking about Classics, Monuments, Grand Tours, World Cups and all that fishing. Now these geniuses, to whom we quickly put names and surnames, are in charge of taking the poster of each test in which they wear a number to the best cinemas. From January to December. On the sand, in the mud, on the stones or on the asphalt. They are literally running a new rider. And that makes us fall in love.
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The Mirror and the Shadow of Van der Poel and Van Aert
At this point, more talk about Van der Poel and van Aert was normal. We are not going to be outraged. Putting anyone on the same level are big words. Basically because both of them have been sharing the cyclo-cross World Championship for the last seven years, they already know what it is to win Classics and Monuments and at the same time they are two of the five great stars, being also protagonists, of the most prestigious peloton in the world. I’m talking about the person who lives in the Tour de France. We are going from putting the races to see who wins to putting them to see with what function these two surprise us. It is no longer just victory, but the spectacle of the road to it. And although the hat is long, there is a British man who, without fear of being wrong, has joined the party.
Brabanzona Arrow: Tom Pidcock smashes Van Aert in his first big win
Thomas Pidcock was the next to look out over a peak reserved for the chosen ones. It is probably not the last. Because from this, like everything in life, a school will be created. Born in Yorkshire, the cycling birthplace of Great Britain that is taking to the maximum exponent that of becoming one of the great powers in this industry, he took his first pedaling at the age of 3, as a “whimsical” of a father who was less of a runner than he had dreamed of. From the London velodrome of London’s Herne Hill, he gradually saw the light until in 2017, still in his training and being a minor, he gave the first notice of a talent that threatened to leave his adolescent body: Junior World Cyclo-cross, Paris-Roubaix Junior and Junior Time Trial World Championships (because it also works well against the clock).
A bit of everything
As a sub-23 he has won the Giro d’Italia, of which Juan Ayuso is the recent winner, Paris-Roubaix, Liège, the cyclocross world championship and also the Mountain Bike one. As if it were about collecting what one is sowing, Ineos, the result of that line of British succession that characterizes them so much, he was not going to miss the opportunity to sheathe his sword for which he was falling before this generation. Of course, it could be expected, I am not saying that it was a surprise, but 2021 is the year of its definitive settlement in the most absolute elite. Tom, in his debut among professionals, has won the Brabanzona Arrow and missed the Amstel Gold Race by millimeters, in the famous sprint against Van Aert and from which we are not going to create more controversy here.
Van Aert finds revenge against Pidcock in a very tight finish
Precisely about Van Aert it is beginning to be said that he can mutate a Vueltomaniac into a cultured and neat classics corps. Pidcock, on the other side of the ring, is the opposite. A Classicomano of 1’70 of height and 58 kilos of weight. That the Wouts and Mathieu do not cloud us appreciating that before our eyes we have ‘The Next Big Thing’. Because you have to be extremely good to have a record like yours without having turned 22. The next stop for what is probably the world’s most ‘multi-tool’ cyclist, on his incessant and sudden ascent to the top, It will be the Tour of Spain. There, in Burgos and in just two weeks, he will appear in society at a Grande. What is it capable of? I already expect anything.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
His recent gold medal in Mountain Bike in Tokyo 2020 it only comes to remind us of the next brute beast that comes to us. A runner who does not care about the name of the race and the modality. A winner in all disciplines. A champion in every possible way. An iron mentality capable of recovering from a broken collarbone while preparing for the Games, for a month later to shine on the top of the podium, stretching his figure to Mount Fuji itself. Witness the first great coronation of a runner born to mark an era. Whether he marks it or not will not depend so much on his victories but on his courage in the face of the bestiality and atrocious rivalry that he will have in front of him. I have no certainties, but also no doubt that it will be up to par. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Britain’s Tom Pidcock celebrates after winning the gold medal at the medal ceremony of the cycling mountain bike men’s cross-country event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Izu MTB Course in Izu on July 26, 2021
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