A YOUNG cyclist with strong links to Bradford and Otley has pulled off arguably the biggest success of his career so far, beating the world champion to victory in a prestigious European race.

Tom Pidcock, who is still only 21, held off the challenge of Dutch superstar Mathieu van der Poel to win the Telenet Superprestige Gavere cyclocross event on Sunday in Belgium.

He made a blistering start, before Van der Poel began to reel him. Home favourite Toon Aerts was also in contention, with the trio tracking each other in the middle laps.

But a Pidcock acceleration put Aerts in trouble, and he soon fell away.

That meant it was a straight fight between British champion and world champion, but despite Van der Poel’s best efforts, it was Pidcock who put his foot to the pedals to pull away.

He built up a comfortable lead ahead of the final few laps, and defended it well to win in 58 minutes and 11 seconds.

The Gavere event is just one in the Telenet Superprestige series, but victory on the international stage will surely make the wider world sit up and take notice of Pidcock.

Pidcock is from Leeds, and though he rides for Trinity Racing now, he was a Paul Milnes team member, whose shop and business is based in Bradford.

Three years ago, he opened a new purpose-built cycling track at Horton Park Primary School on the Canterbury estate, just one element of their new £100,000 outdoor play area.

Pidcock was World Junior Cyclocross Champion at the time.

Two years ago, as a member of Otley Cycling Club, he broke the course record on their 'Triangle' time trial route, at the age of just 18.