While Tom Pidcock has made a successful start to his WorldTour road career, he said that signing for the Ineos Grenadiers wouldn’t mean leaving other cycling disciplines behind just yet. Having been the third man of the Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert cyclocross rivalry this winter, the Brit has now revealed the mountain bike events he plans to take part in this year.
The 21-year-old has already picked up a podium at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and an even more impressive fifth-place finish at Strade Bianche, and Pidcock will now compete in a number of other prestigious spring Classics, including Milan – Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
After Liège on April 25, Pidcock will head to Switzerland, getting out his mountain bike for the Swiss Bike Cup in Leukerbad, the Ineos Grenadiers rider announced yesterday.
After that, it’s the Czech round of the UCI MTB World Cup in Nove Mesto Na Morave on May 15-16, before another round in Leogang, Austria, on June 12-13.
That will all be to build up to the Tokyo Olympic Games, where Pidcock will be vying for gold on July 27.
After that Pidcock will return to the road, pencilled in for the Spanish Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, starting on August 14.
His coach, Kurt Bogaerts, explained that the initial races will all be about improving his grid positions so he can go on to compete for the win in later races.
“The gridding is so key in this discipline. At the first World Cup he’ll start really far behind – around place 92 on the grid,” Bogaerts said.
“If he does well in Albstadt, if he can achieve a top-16 result, that would allow him into the short track qualifying race for the next World Cup round at Nove Mesto. That race will help him set his grid position, and if he can get to that point the situation is essentially in his own hands. It’s all about moving up that grid – so the first World Cup of the year will be a key race to start off and get a good result.
“Once Tom gets through that initial phase of racing all his points come into play. Tom has accumulated a lot of points in the under-23 ranks that don’t count for anything at the moment. It’s his first year racing at the elite level in MTB, so all his points going forward will be key looking ahead to the Olympics.”