Tom Pidcock’s trailblazing mountain biking success is inspiring Corran Carrick-Anderson’s pursuit of glory, with the Peebles prospect back in action after an unusually quiet winter.
Lockdowns scuppered the 18-year-old’s plans either side of Christmas but he has returned to competitive racing across Europe in r
ecent weeks, taking in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
The last of those races, in Nove Mesto, saw Pidcock become the first male British rider to earn victory in a World Cup event for 27 years and he did so in style, with a record-breaking winning margin.
Carrick-Anderson finished 11th in the junior event with his best performance of the year so far and Pidcock’s exploits have shown what may be possible if he continues to progress.
“He’s only three or four years older than me – I haven’t raced against him yet but hopefully I might get the chance to soon,” he said.
“It’s cool to see people from Britain being up there and it makes it feel more possible.
“My results have got better as I’ve gone along this year and my best performance was in the last race [in Nove Mesto].
“I had a bad start with a crash but recovered to finish 11th – I should have been fighting for a podium but it’s positive for bigger races to come.
“I normally do a lot of racing over the winter but it was all cancelled, so those were my first races of the season and it was really good to be back out there. You’re part of a team again and everything feels normal.
“I have some more races coming up in Switzerland and Italy then come August-time it’s the European and World Junior Championships.
“It’s all down to selection – anything could happen but right now it’s looking good.”
The teenager has been involved in the sport from an early age and his dad, former Scottish champion Crawford Carrick-Anderson, has been on hand to offer expert guidance throughout.
Carrick-Anderson junior is now receiving further support courtesy of a partnership between SportsAid and Entain, owners of Ladbrokes and Coral, which provides vital funding for training, travel, equipment and access to mentoring.
“I’ve been involved with some [SportsAid] workshops but this is the first funding programme I’ve been part of,” he said.
“It’s cool to be part of it – you see what they’ve done for people before and hopefully I can follow in their footsteps.
“I think I have quite good stepping stones in place to keep improving and ultimately the plan is to race at World Cups as an elite at the top of the sport.”