‘Not my speciality but I’ll take that’: Tom Pidcock on his bunch sprint Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne podium

The British star said he didn’t feel good heading into his second cobbled race with Ineos, but still emerged at the front 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tom Pidcock said he was feeling the effects of a tough weekend of racing in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but he still managed to secure a podium finish in the bunch sprint. 

The British rider made his debut in the Classics Opening Weekend, lining up in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in Ineos Grenadiers colours. 

After a day of aggressive racing in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which saw him finish 55th, Pidcock was more reserved the following day in Kuurne but still fought his way to a third-place finish in the bunch sprint for the line.  

Speaking after the finish, the 21-year-old said: "I didn’t feel good all day, I think yesterday was still in my legs a bit so I’m pretty pleased with that. Third place in a bunch sprint? Not my specialty but I’ll take that.

"I’m pleased with that and I have picked up form much quicker than I thought, I had a break after cross, and it bodes well for the next few races I think. 

"It was not as difficult as it could have been to transition from cross to road, I kept some form from the cross season.” 

Having made his WorldTour debut with Ineos in the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var,  Pidcock then lined up in his first elite cobbled races on Saturday and Sunday (February 27-28). 

In Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Pidcock put in a huge effort to bridge across from the peloton to join an elite group, including world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), at the front late in the race.

But despite the admirable effort, the peloton were able to catch the breakaway to set up a bunch sprint in Ninove, won by Deceuninck’s Davide Ballerini, while Pidcock slipped back to finish outside of the front group.

Then on Sunday, Pidcock rode well and found himself in the second group on the road in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, as a breakaway group including Mathieu van der Poel and Pidcock’s team-mate Jhonatan Narvaez threatened to go the line.

Once again the race came back together to set up a bunch sprint, but this time Pidcock was at the front and ready to fight. 

It was former world champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) who dominated the sprint, followed by Anthony Turgis, of Total Direct Energie. 

>>> ‘There wasn’t enough road to close the gap’: Jake Stewart announces himself to the WorldTour with fast finish at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 

But close behind, Pidcock put in a surging sprint, taking the second British podium of the weekend after Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) took second in Omloop Het Nieuwslad. 

Pidcock’s next race will be on the gravel roads of Tuscany in Strade Bianche next weekend. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.