Tom Pidcock became the first Briton to claim an elite title at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships with a dominant victory in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Pidcock attacked from a group of Belgians on the fourth lap of nine circuits, which featured a menacing flight of steps.
By the end of the fifth lap, his lead was at 22 seconds as Belgian trio Eli Iserbyt, Laurens Sweeck and Michael Vanthourenhout formed a chase group with France’s Clement Venturini.
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A lap later, the gap had swelled to over 30 seconds. That was how it stayed as Pidcock crossed the finish line well clear of his rivals, performing a Superman pose on his bike as he crossed the line.
It capped a tremendous 12 months for the 22-year-old, who also won mountain bike gold at the Tokyo Olympics and claimed his first Classics triumph on the road at Brabantse Pijl.
Netherlands’ Lars van der Haar came through to take second, with Iserbyt in third.
Multi-talented superstars Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel missed the race.
"With Wout and Mathieu not being here, I think it almost became harder to win the race," said Pidcock.
"Because everyone thinks 'ahh, the race is going to be easier now'. But you can't go into the race with that mentality, it's going to be a super hard race no matter who's in the race."
Harder to win without Van Aert and Van der Poel - Pidcock
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