Tom Pidcock (TP Racing) headed to the 2019 Bogense World Championships with a decent-sized chip on his shoulder.
The young British phenom who won the 2017 Junior World Championships in Bieles had a successful inaugural U23 season for the Telenet Fidea Lions team in 2017/18, winning three World Cups and finishing second at the European Championships.
However, on the sport's biggest stage, his hopes for a second-straight World Championship got mired in the Valkenburg mud, and he finished a disappointing 15th.
This season, Pidcock changed course a bit, mutually parting ways with the Belgian giant and forming his own TP Racing team. Pidcock's troubles at Valkenburg were seemingly behind him during the 2018/19 campaign, as he won four World Cups, the series overall and the U23 European Championship.
The winner of the other three? Two-time U23 world champion Eli Iserbyt of Belgium. The two young stars headed to Bogense on a collision course with the U23 World Championship on the line.
Pidcock got the best of his Belgian rival in Bogense, dropping a massive attack on Iserbyt that broke the will of the Belgian.
Pidcock's bike for his winning ride was an S-Works CruX outfitted with the then yet-to-be-released 1x SRAM RED eTAP AXS groupset. I took a closer look at Pidcock's CruX while he was busy at the Worlds post-race press conference.
Tom Pidcock's Worlds-Winning S-Works CruX
The Worlds post-race press conferences are an interesting spectacle. Held exclusively in English, most European riders view them as a thing to get through before they can speak with the Dutch-speaking media in their native language.
After his win in the U23 race in Bogense, Pidcock and his team wheeled his bike into the media center while he sat down for his turn on the podium at the press conference. Knowing that Pidcock's bike was sporting the new 12-speed SRAM RED eTAP AXS groupset that had been largely enigmatic during the season, when I saw Pidcock's bike just hanging out near the entrance to the media center, I put down my recorder and grabbed my camera instead.
The Specialized CruX has quickly become a regular in our bike profile collection this season. Prior to the start of the cyclocross season, we reviewed the S-Works CruX frameset that Pidcock rode at Worlds. We profiled Maghalie Rochette's bright red and yellow CruX at RenoCross, and then took a closer look at Sarah Sturm's one-gear Singlespeed Nationals setup.
Pidcock's primary bike this season was the yellow and red Specialized CruX Expert frame, and at Worlds, he crossed the line for the win on the frame.
However, Pidcock also has a special S-Works CruX that his team brought into the media center after his win. The bike's colorway pays homage to his European Championship win that he can race in U23 events.
The biggest reason I was surprised to find Pidcock's bike sitting unattended in the media center was his CruX had SRAM's new 12-speed 1x RED eTAP AXS groupset. The embargo on the new groupset was finally lifted on Wednesday, but up through the weekend, the company kept the wraps on the new groupset ridden by Wout van Aert, Jeremy Powers and a select few others.
Pidcock's drivetrain featured unbranded components from the new groupset that we covered in detail on Wednesday. His four-bolt RED 1 crankset held a relatively large 44t unmarked X-Sync 2 chain ring.
In the rear, he had the new RED eTAP AXS derailleur that uses SRAM's Orbit fluid-damping system instead of a clutch. As we noted in our review of the new groupset, the derailleur is the same for both 1x and 2x systems.
The new RED eTAP AXS rear derailleur has a maximum cassette size of 33t and requires an XD-R freehub, and Pidcock appeared to run the 10-33t configuration. Also new is the Flattop chain designed specifically for the new AXS technology.
Pidcock's shift/brake levers were the same unmarked eTAP AXS HRD ones we spied on Jeremy Powers' Fuji cyclocross bike earlier this season. The levers paired with RED HRD flat mount disc calipers that were facing toward the wall. (I only had so much time with the bike. Pidcock's manager soon got wise to the other journalist and me snooping around his ride.)
It would be tough for Pidcock to top the novel nature of his 1x SRAM RED eTAP AXS groupset with the rest of his bike's build. One interesting choice he made was the gold-hued Ritchey WCX XC SPD pedals. Pidcock is not sponsored by Ritchey; he opted for the Shimano alternative on his own. His choice now gives the company a second world champ alongside mountain bike star Nino Schurter. [Read our review of the Ritchey WCX XC pedals]
Pidcock ran Vision Metron 40 SL Disc Tubulars—the same wheels Lance Haidet ran this season—at Worlds with Challenge Grifo intermediate tubulars mounted for the fast conditions on the Bogense course.
With FSA as a sponsor, Pidcock used an FSA K-Force Compact carbon handlebar wrapped with black Fizik bar tape, FSA Energy alloy stem and K-Force SB25 carbon seatpost. A Fizik Antares saddle with carbon rails was attached to the seat post.
For more on Pidcock's CruX, see the photo gallery from the Bogense media center and specifications below.
For more from Bogense, see our 2019 Bogense World Championships page.