Tom Pidcock says he's in no rush to fully commit to racing Grand Tours as his debut three-week stage race, the 2021 Vuelta a España, beckons.
The day after taking gold in the mountain bike event at the Tokyo Olympics, Pidcock was back out on his road bike, seeing a bit more of Japan than the four walls of his hotel room as he tries to squeeze in as many kilometres as he can before the Vuelta starts in Bilbao on August 14.
"I think there's not really...I'm in no rush to commit to a Grand Tour," Pidcock begins, speaking to a small group of media including Cycling Weekly after his gold in Tokyo, and having barely raced on the road since his successful Ardennes Classics run in April.
"I mean, the plan is to do the Vuelta now, so tomorrow I'll go out and do a long ride because I'm not going to have that many days [to prepare].
"When I get home I'll spend a couple of nights in London...I'll have quite a few days off so I need to do some riding before then. I'm not in a rush to fully commit to a Grand Tour. I think the thing I've got is time on my side."
Indeed, at 21-years-old (although he turns 22 on July 30) and as Pidcock continues to achieve on the mountain bike and at cyclocross events, the road will eventually become a preoccupation.
His blistering start to life in the WorldTour, with Ineos Grenadiers, was capped off with the victory at Brabantse Pijl after strong showings at prestigious races such as Strade Bianche, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and the Amstel Gold Race.
While Ineos haven't yet announced their Vuelta line-up, any of Adam Yates, Richard Carapaz or even Egan Bernal could receive top billing, while Pidcock learns the ropes of three-week racing.
But with his prodigious talent already evident, how long before Dave Brailsford turns to Pidcock as his potential secret weapon in the attempted vanquishing of fellow young gun Tadej Pogačar?
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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