Olympics-Cycling-Britain's Pidcock trained in heated tent for Tokyo conditions


Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Mountain Bike Training - Izu MTB Course, Shizuoka, Japan - July 23, 2021. Tom Pidcock of Britain during training. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

TOKYO (Reuters) - Britain's Tom Pidcock has left nothing to chance for Monday's Olympic mountain bike race, training in a heated tent at home to prepare for Tokyo's soaring temperatures.

The 21-year-old, a road rider with Ineos Grenadiers but returning to his cyclo-cross roots for a shot at gold, is one of the favourites along with reigning champion Nino Schurter and Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-30s again on Monday at the demanding 4.1km circuit but Pidcock thinks his unusual training regime in which he rides his training bike inside a tent will help him cope.

"It's the biggest factor," Pidcock, said of the heat and humidity that will test the 38-man field.

"I've been doing a lot of heat work, which I'm happy to tell everyone now, but before I didn't want to advertise it in case someone downplays the heat."

"Basically, at the end of training I jump in heat chamber for 30-45 minutes and sit in a really hot box pedalling very slowly. My spare room has a tent in it.

"It keeps tripping the electricity actually, that's the only problem."

Pidcock, an Under-23 world champion in cross-country last year, has not competed on the road since the Spring Classics in a bid to prepare for the Olympics.

The heat has been a factor in the road racing events with riders stuffing ice down their racing suits in an attempt to avoid over-heating in the stifling humidity.

Storms are expected in the Tokyo region next week.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

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