Strade Bianche well-suited to Tom Pidcock, says his coach

The 21-year-old Brit could hit the podium on his debut, says Pidcock’s mentor

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Tom Pidcock’s coach says Strade Bianche is well-suited to the British star, and that he could emerge with a podium place on his debut.

Pidcock is continuing his run of Classics in his first WorldTour season with Ineos Grenadiers, as the peloton heads to Italy to race on the gravel roads of Tuscany on Saturday (March 6). 

After the 21-year-old already took a podium from a bunch sprint in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne last weekend, Pidcock could be back in the top placing in Strade Bianche, according to his mentor Kurt Bogaerts. 

In an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Bogaerts said: “A podium place might be possible, but at the same time I try to slow down Tom.”

“Above all, this should be a year in which he learns which competitions are for him, where his limits are. That is why I prefer not to talk about concrete results.

“But Tom doesn't like it when I say that. If results are not important, he should just as well ride Gran Fondos, he says.” 

Pidcock is at the forefront of a new philosophy inside British WorldTour squad Ineos Grenadiers, who have developed a reputation for controlling races to ensure their success. 

The team now hope to race in a more exciting way in the future, similar to their aggressive and successful performance with Tao Geoghegan Hart in the 2020 Giro d’Italia. 

Pidcock has signed a three-year contract as he makes his first foray into WorldTour racing, having been a huge talent at under-23 level on the road, while also performing at the highest level in cyclocross. 

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Bogaerts added: “You notice that the team is going through a phase. Grenadier refers to the 4×4 car that Ineos is developing and they are also linking it to a new way of racing: more attractive, riders can go on an adventure. Tom fits in perfectly with that.”