Tom Pidcock admits he's found his feet earlier than expected in his debut road season for the Ineos Grenadiers, his talents on tarmac made evident as soon as the Opening Weekend in Belgium at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
After Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) had dragged a group of contenders away from the peloton late on in the race, Pidcock bridged across the gap in his debut WorldTour event, before taking it up on the front and trying to chase down the Frenchman when he went off alone.
"All of the strongest guys were there," Pidcock explained. "I was well-positioned into the climb before that group went, but just probably 10 wheels too far back. I stayed calm, I knew there was no point panicking. Bora chased for a bit, attacked, and it didn’t go anywhere, so me and Kevin Geniets, went across. You needed to be in that group really."
Pidcock says he struggled a bit in his first race for Ineos at the Tour du Var, having transitioned to the road straight from the cyclocross season, but is already acclimatising to the WorldTour peloton.
"I’ve found form a lot quicker than I thought I would. My first race for the team at Haut Var was alright, but I was struggling a bit. I wasn’t flying," he said.
"I was decent, but coming into these races I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know where my shape was. And it’s weird to go into it without being able to imagine what you could do, which is how I always like to prepare. Now I know, so in that sense there are lots of positives today. I definitely learned a lot."
Pidcock will line up for Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne the day after Omloop Het Nieuwsblad before heading to Italy for Strade Bianche.
"It bodes well and gives me a lot of confidence. Tomorrow is more likely to be a sprint but we’re looking forward to it," Pidcock said. "I’m going into it with a much more positive mindset than I did today and I hope I can then go into Strade with some good form."
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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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