Tom Pidcock is set to return to road racing just three weeks after breaking his collarbone in a training crash.
Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) was due to ride the Tour de Suisse but the crash, that left his Pinarello bike in two pieces, meant instead he required surgery and, of course, a new bike.
The 21-year-old's last road race was at the Ardennes Classics where he placed sixth at La Flèche Wallonne. However, Pidcock has been racing in the mountain bike cross country World Cup where he regularly goes up against cyclo-ross rival, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix).
Pidcock won the last World Cup event in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic by riding solo to the line, comfortably ahead of Van der Poel. Both riders are aiming for gold in the discipline at the upcoming Olympics.
But, before the next World Cup event in Les Gets, Pidcock is making a surprise return to the road at the Giro dell'Appennino, a very mountainous Italian race on steep climbs between Pasturana and Genova on a 192.1km course.
Pidcock tweeted: "Pinning a number on again tomorrow. My recovery has gone well and so has my training so it’s time to get that race rhythm back."
Pinning a number on again tomorrow. My recovery has gone well and so has my training so it’s time to get that race rhythm back #bettereveryday https://t.co/eLWsl3yM5GJune 23, 2021
Alongside the British rider are co-leaders Gianni Moscon, who has shown great form in 2021, and Giro d'Italia 2020 stage winner Jhonatan Narváez along with a solid support force. The other riders in the squad include Leonardo Basso, Cameron Wurf, Brandon Rivera, and Michał Gołas.
The race takes place today (June 24) with Ineos Grenadiers as one clear of the favourites being one of three WorldTour team at the race.
UAE Team Emirates, who also bring a strong squad, will likely be the toughest competition with the likes of Diego Ulissi, Jan Polanc, and neo-pro Juan Ayuso, the rider who won this year's under-23 Giro d'Italia. Israel Start-Up Nation is the other with leader Ben Hermans.
Pidcock, who won the U23 Giro in 2020, is using this race in more of a preparation for his push towards a gold medal at the Olympics where he said in an interview with mbr: "At first when I had the option to go for the mountain bike or road races I was thinking I should commit to the mountain bike as I have a good chance of getting a medal. But now after the last World Cup in Nove Mesto, I’m going to win. That’s where I’m aiming for."
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