Could Tom Pidcock's recon ride of cobbles prove he's racing Tour de France?

Pidcock explored parts of the Tour de France cobbled stage on Monday despite originally being scheduled to start the Giro d'Italia

Tom Pidcock
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tom Pidcock explored the cobblestones set to feature on stage five of this summer's Tour de France on Monday, just 11 days before the Giro d'Italia begins in Hungary on Friday May 6. 

The 22-year-old completed the reconnaissance ride of the cobbles the day after finishing 103rd at Liège-Bastogne-Liège with Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Michał Kwiatkowski, who is scheduled to line up at the Tour de France. Kwiatkowski also posted the pair riding on the cobbles to his social media.

He wrote: "Recovery ride on Roubaix cobbles. Tour de France stage five recon with Tom Pidcock."

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Stage five of the French Grand Tour features 11 cobblestone sectors, five of which have never been included in a race before, perhaps further suggesting Pidcock is preparing for the event in July. In total, there are 20km of pavé along the route heading from Lille to Wallers-Arenberg.

Ineos Grenadiers had originally intended for Pidcock to make his Giro d'Italia debut next week, but there had been speculation he might compete at the Tour for the first time instead, which Kwiatkowski's post has further intensified. 

Speculation began last month when Pidcock signed a five-year deal with British-based team, as he made clear his desire to win a Grand Tour. Shortly afterwards, while speaking at a pre-Tour of Flanders press conference, he didn't hide his ambition to win the Tour de France someday. 

The leading rider spot is seemingly available in Ineos' Tour de France line up, too. Egan Bernal was due to lead the team at the Tour, but the Colombian's horrific crash in January means he won't recover in time for July.

Pidcock made his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España last year, only managing to come 67th in GC and achieving a stage-best finish of fourth. The Spanish event provided a vital learning experience for him though, but after becoming the cyclocross world champion in January, he has endured an inconsistent 2022 road season so far. 

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