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With “The Big Three” down to just one, Brit Tom Pidcock took exactly half the race to show his pre-race favorite status was well-deserved.

With the two winners of the last seven Elite Men’s World Championships staying home in Europe, Pidcock added to his multi-discipline stardom with a dominant ride in Fayetteville.

Pidcock Tolerates Belgian Teamwork

The Belgians did their best to work as a team but could not stop Pidcock. Elite Men. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

The Belgians did their best to work as a team but could not stop Pidcock. Elite Men. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Pidcock remained patient for four laps as the Belgians took turns attacking and holding him up.

Belgian Toon Aerts was first to attack the major climb, hoping to tax Pidcock and Van der Haar’s legs.

France’s Clement Venturini also got into the mix, hitting the front and making casual fans and race favorites wonder who was pushing the pace.

Toon Aerts attacked the first climb in hopes of tiring out Van der Haar and Pidcock. Elite Men. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Toon Aerts attacked the first climb in hopes of tiring out Van der Haar and Pidcock. Elite Men. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Laurens Sweeck took his turn, and then Michael Vanthourenhout, but regardless of who was at the front, Pidcock looked comfortable and content to follow wheels.

“It was a really fast race, we tried in the beginning with the team to get a little gap, to push Pidcock and Van der Haar to the front,” Eli Iserbyt explained of his team’s plan. “But I saw that Pidcock was riding at a really easy pace.”

Heading into the fifth of nine laps, Pidcock surged while Iserbyt sat in fourth. Belgians Laurens Sweeck and Michael Vanthourenhout couldn’t match the pace, and Iserbyt was left to chase on his own.

Pidcock was dominant on his way to win the Elite Men's title. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Pidcock was dominant on his way to win the Elite Men’s title. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Heading down the finishing straight to start the fifth lap, Pidcock already had six seconds over Iserbyt. Within a lap, it was over twenty.

“We saw on his big sprint up the hill it was not possible to follow,” Iserbyt admitted. “I tried for a lap and then I saw I couldn’t close the gap and so I was riding for second or third place.”

Tom Pidcock dominated the Elite Men's race. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Tom Pidcock dominated the Elite Men’s race. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

The race for the rainbow jersey was over, and the only question left was who might win silver and bronze.

Van der Haar attacked the major climb on the third-to-last lap, and Iserbyt followed and the race for silver was on. Van der Haar wanted to go earlier, but Venturini’s attacks kept him gasping.

“Today was the first couple of laps it was a bit difficult to stay in position,” Van der Haar said. “The moment Pidcock went, I was way too far back. From that moment on, I decided to go for place, second or third. Pidcock was the best, maybe I could have gone with him, but maybe it w I was waiting to find my moment, but that moment got stolen by Venturini because he was so fast today. I went with two or three laps to go, and I kept riding, I didn’t care if Eli was on my wheel.”

“When Lars made his move, I was the only one to have an answer,” Iserbyt explained.

While Pidcock pulled a whip over the final jump, pumped his fist at the crowd and readied for his Superman finishing celebration, Iserbyt, content to sit on Van der Haar’s wheel until now, did his best to drop Van der Haar on the final rise before the finish.

Tom Pidcock, the Superman, celebrates his Elite Men's win. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Tom Pidcock, the Superman, celebrates his Elite Men’s win. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

It wouldn’t work. Van der Haar easily outsprinted Iserbyt to take silver.

“That was always going to be a super hard race,” Pidcock said after his win. “The drier it came the more tactics played a part. The Belgians were trying to ride a tactical race. I found an opportunity and made it stick. ”

“We rode our best race as possible, and it was the other riders who were better,” Iserbyt said after taking bronze. “We don’t have to be happy but be satisfied. You just have to conclude the other rider is better.”

Without his rivals in Van der Poel and Van Aert around, one might have thought Pidcock would have come to Fayetteville more relaxed, but that was not the case.

“With Wout and Mathieu not being here, it almost became harder to win the race,” he explained. “Everyone expected the race was going to be easier now, but you can’t go into the race with that mentality. We came here with a plan, and a process, and we stuck to the process, and it turned out in the end. Coming to America, spend a week in a hotel, stress builds up, but we managed for sure.”

Van der Haar, Pidcock, and Iserbyt. Elite Men. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Van der Haar, Pidcock, and Iserbyt. Elite Men. 2022 Cyclocross World Championships, Fayetteville, Arkansas USA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Pidcock, like Marianne Vos, made history with his win. Pidcock became the first Brit to win an Elite Men’s title.

Seven Belgians finished in the top eleven but had to settle for bronze.

Curtis White led the North American group with a 12th place.

Stay tuned for an expanded report and photo gallery.

Full results below.

See our full coverage of the 2022 Cyclocross World Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas here.

2022 Fayetteville UCI Cyclocross World Championships Results: Elite Men

PosBibNameNationTimeGap
1.26PIDCOCK ThomasUnited Kingdom1:00:36-
2.2VAN DER HAAR LarsNetherlands1:01:06+0:30
3.4ISERBYT EliBelgium1:01:08+0:32
4.6VANTHOURENHOUT MichaelBelgium1:01:28+0:52
5.14VENTURINI ClementFrance1:01:33+0:57
6.5AERTS ToonBelgium1:01:38+1:02
7.11ADAMS JensBelgium1:01:42+1:06
8.8SWEECK LaurensBelgium1:01:52+1:16
9.15KUHN KevinSwitzerland1:02:12+1:36
10.10SOETE DaanBelgium1:02:20+1:44
11.12VANDEBOSCH ToonBelgium1:02:22+1:46
12.29WHITE CurtisUnited States1:02:24+1:48
13.21ORTS LLORET FelipeSpain1:02:24+1:48
14.27TURNER BenUnited Kingdom1:02:24+1:48
15.13DUBAU JoshuaFrance1:02:25+1:49
16.24BOROS MichaelCzech Republic1:02:26+1:50
17.28BRUNNER EricUnited States1:02:36+2:00
18.38MEISEN MarcelGermany1:02:43+2:07
19.22SUAREZ FERNANDEZ KevinSpain1:03:06+2:30
20.25MEIN ThomasUnited Kingdom1:03:48+3:12
21.30WERNER KerryUnited States1:03:56+3:20
22.33SWARTZ CalebUnited States1:03:56+3:20
23.16MOTTIEZ GillesSwitzerland1:04:12+3:36
24.34MCGILL ScottUnited States1:04:18+3:42
25.41VAN DEN HAM MichaelCanada1:04:19+3:43
26.3VAN KESSEL CorneNetherlands1:04:43+4:07
27.43ORSCHEL TylerCanada1:04:48+4:12
28.31HECHT GageUnited States1:05:21+4:45
29.23ULIK MatejSlovakia1:05:45+5:09
30.32HAIDET LanceUnited States1:06:07+5:31
31.9BAESTAENS VincentBelgium1:06:17+5:41
32.44BARTON MalcolmCanada1:06:38+6:02
33.42SANDERSON BrodyCanada-1 LAP
34.39LESHEM GuyIsrael-2 LAP
35.40NYSTROM SPENCER Felipe TimoteoCosta Rica-4 LAP
45TREY JarnoEstoniaDSQ