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Tom Pidcock is an e-bike World Champion now

The Yorkshireman took the e-MTB World title and further proves e-bikes are not cheating

Joe Robinson
8 Oct 2020

Photography: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull

E-bikes are for the elderly, e-bikes are for those who cannot ride their bikes anymore, e-bikes are cheating, I'd never be caught dead on an e-bike... Just a few of the retorts that are so often spouted out whenever we cover the world of electric cycles on Cyclist.

Well, quite possibly the most talented bike rider in the world, and certainly in the UK, Tom Pidcock, just became an electric bike World Champion. Still sticking with those claims?

Ahead of his lucrative move to the WorldTour empire of Ineos Grenadiers in 2021, Pidcock decided to have one last bit of fun before it gets all serious. The 21-year-old added another string to his bow by winning the e-MTB title at the UCI MTB World Championships.

In swamp-like conditions on the Leogang-Salzburgerland course in Austria, the Yorkshireman switched it to turbo mode in order to beat Frenchman Jerome Gilloux by a clear 35 seconds and Denmark's Simon Andreassen by 49 seconds to take the title.

Despite being 55 seconds down on Gilloux after the first lap, Pidcock's class shone through as he recorded the four fastest laps of the race in the four circuits remaining to take home the rainbow jersey with fetching lightning bolt ripped through its middle.

Also in the race was former cyclocross World Champion and legend Sven Nys who finished 19th, another rider who certainly is not elderly, cheating or unable to ride his old bike anymore.

Clearly a fan of riding his electric bike, Pidcock took to Instagram after victory to write: 'Ha I live for it. E-MTB world champion @iamspecialized @srammtb @redbulluk. Thanks for the opportunity @iamspecialized_mtb @trinityracing_ I enjoyed every second'

Before racing on Wednesday, Pidcock also posted a video of himself ripping it around the course on the e-MTB. Letting the spin of the motor in the rear wheel skid him around the muddy corners, you can just see the fun he is having.

Clearly the Yorkshireman had a grand old time hacking around on his electric mountain bike, a bit of light relief after what has been a solid few weeks for the rider and the Under-23 cross country race on Friday.

At the recent elite men's road race World Championships in Imola, Italy, Pidcock rolled in 42nd having been in the main group for most of the day. He then immediately switched to MTB, winning two Under-23 World Cup rounds in a week.

Either way, Pidcock taking time out to go and win the e-MTB rainbow jersey was a good thing for the sport as it helped prove that electric bikes are not cheating, they are just a whole lot of fun.

And if they are good enough for Pidcock, Nys, Eddy Merckx, Sean Yates and Brian Robinson, then I think we can safely say e-bikes are good enough for us too.