After a GC-focused Tour de France that showed real promise for the future, Tom Pidcock turned his focus back to the mountain bike in readiness for the World Championships in Glasgow. As the reigning Olympic champion, the Yorkshire rider will take on the men’s elite cross-country event.
He was fourth in last year’s Worlds event by Swiss winner Nino Schurter, although he won the European Championships and has taken victory in two World Cups this season. Might his road focus – Tour de France included – have blunted the short, sharp and highly technical edge needed to win a race like this?
Event to watch: Elite men’s Mountain Bike XCO (cross-country), Saturday 12 August EVIE RICHARDS (GBr, MTB XCO)
Riding to Commonwealth Games gold at Cannock last year
(Image credit: Justin Setterfield / Getty)
Former world champion and current Commonwealth champion Richards has been a little way off her best so far this year but has still podiumed at the World Cup and taken a smattering of top sixes too. She won the British Championship in Yorkshire only two weeks ago too, so if you’re only as good as your last race, the Malvern woman – who is a multiple cyclo-cross under-23 world champion – is looking good for the World Championship.
Event to watch: Elite women’s mountain bike XCO, Saturday 12 August BETH SHRIEVER (BMX)
Racing the Arnhem World Cup in June
(Image credit: Rene Nijhuis / Getty)
You probably remember the Essex rider as part of the Great Britain Cycling Team’s lucrative BMX campaign at the Tokyo Games in 2021, where she took gold in the elite women’s race, as well as Worlds gold that same year. Success has continued since then, winning the European Cup series last year as well as numerous National Series rounds. Expect Shriever to challenge strongly in the upcoming Glasgow events.
Event to watch: Elite women’s BMX Race, Sunday 13 August
JENNIFER VALENTE (USA, track)
Celebrating omnium victory at last year’s Worlds
(Image credit: Thomas Samson / Getty)
Super successful US track rider Valente must need a spare room for all her World Championship, Olympic and National medals, which date back more than 10 years to her junior days. She has multiple rainbow jerseys for the team pursuit, but these days it’s the omnium that is Valente’s focus. Winner of the omnium in Tokyo, San Diego-born Valente is also the reigning omnium world champion, as well as Track Champions League winner.
Event to watch: Elite women’s omnium, Wednesday 9 August FILIPPO GANNA (ITA, track, time trial)
(Image credit: Anne-Christine Poujoulat / Getty)
The Italian seems to be able to transfer his near unbeatable ability against the clock on the road direct to the track, where he is the world record holder for the 4,000m individual pursuit, setting 3.59.636 last October. Ganna, a keen gamer, took his fourth Italian national TT title in June, and only last week won the GC on the Ethias-Tour de Wallonie, taking two stages along the way (the time trial included, of course). Would anyone bet against him for the IP, and even to lead his team to go one better than last year’s silver medal in the team pursuit.
Events to watch: Elite men’s time trial, Friday 11 August , Elite men’s individual pursuit, Sunday August 6
NINO SCHURTER (SWI, MTB XCO)
Winning the Lenzerheide World Cup round in June
(Image credit: Piotr Staron / Getty)
Veteran Swiss rider Schurter just can’t stop winning. He’s a 10-time world champion with a record 35 World Cup victories to his name, and he is indeed the defending world champion when he lines up at Glasgow for the mountain bike cross-country race. The 37-year-old rider has conceded that his age may soon mean he will no long be as prolific, but for now he remains all-conquering. The rider to beat for Tom Pidcock and Mathieu Van Der Poel.
Event to watch: Elite men’s mountain bike XCO, Saturday 12 August Mathieu Van Der Poel (NED / MTB XCO, Road Race)
Van Der Poel during his ill-fated Tokyo Olympics ride
(Image credit: Robin Van Lonkhuijsen / ANP / Getty)
Having spent the Tour de France as a lead-out deluxe in the service of Alpecin-Deceuninck team-mate Jasper Philipsen, the Dutchman turns his attention to the World Championship and not just one, but two disciplines. He is an outside candidate for the elite men’s road title this Sunday 6 August, and follows that up less than a week later with the mountain bike cross-country race on Saturday 12 Aug, in which he can be regarded as a key contender. But how much will the road race have blunted his legs?
Events to watch: Elite men’s road race, Sunday 6 August, Elite men’s mountain bike XCO, Saturday 12 August