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Pidcock edges out Kiwi Samuel Gaze on cross-country win in Czech Republic opener.

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Tom Pidcock continued his breathtaking form when the Briton added Sunday’s XCO victory to his thrilling Friday XCC win as Dutch rider Puck Pieterse held off France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot for the women’s XCO win at Nové Město.

– Pidcock only made the decision to race in Friday’s XCC event just before the start and he fought his way from the back to edge out New Zealand’s Samuel Gaze and German Luca Schwarzbauer as Austrian Laura Stigger held off Alessandra Keller, Sina Frei and Ferrand-Prévot for her XCC win.

– Pidcock told Eurosport: “I only found out I was racing at 3pm having already done a three-and-a-half hour training run this morning. I’ve been second here in the short track before, so it’s nice to win.”

– Sunday’s first race saw Pieterse start strong with Briton Evie Richards soon getting out at the front to claim a 14-second lead with Ferrand-Prévot and Pieterse looking to close the gap behind.

– Sadly for Richards, she suffered a back-tyre puncture and chain issue to slip back down the order as Ferrand-Prévot and Pieterse looked to eke out an advantage heading into the finishing laps.

– The French rider finally managed to open up a crucial gap in her rainbow jersey – following an amazing four cycling world titles in 2022 – only for Pieterse to swoop past down the steps for the late win.

– After her first UCI MTB World Cup elite race, Pieterse, 21, told Eurosport: “Normally my start is really good. I thought I totally blew myself up, but it looked like the others did too. I was suddenly racing for the front. I just tried to keep calm and it worked out.”

– In the men’s XCO race, Pidcock led in the early laps with the Friday wind in his sails however he crashed awkwardly on a descent in the fifth lap which allowed Frenchman Joshua Dubau back into the race.

– Pidcock recovered his energy in Dubau’s slipstream over the remaining laps, then powered past him late on in the final lap to secure a perfect weekend with a five-second victory as Swiss Nino Schurter ended third.

– Pidcock, 23, said: “Honestly, a bit tired. In hindsight, I should have gone low in (tyre) pressure. I really love this track, especially the atmosphere.”

Men’s XCO result
1. Tom Pidcock GBR 1:22.46
2. Joshua Dubau FRA +0.05
3. Nino Schurter SUI +0.23
4. Jordan Sarrou FRA +0.23
5. Thomas Griot FRA +0.48

Men’s 2023 cross-country rider standings
1. Tom Pidcock GBR 330 points
2. Joshua Dubau FRA 219
3. Nino Schurter SUI 198
4. Jordan Sarrou FRA 185
5. Luca Schwarzbauer GER 180

Women’s XCO result
1. Puck Pieterse NED 1:23:01
2. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot FRA +0:05
3. Loana Lecomte FRA +0:11
4. Evie Richards GBR +0:16
5. Alessandra Keller SUI +0:38

Women’s 2023 cross-country rider standings
1. Puck Pieterse NED 286 points
2. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot FRA 240
3. Alessandra Keller SUI 205
4. Evie Richards GBR 188
5. Loana Lecomte FRA 185

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