Tom Pidcock says he will be 'another step up this year'
Ineos Grenadiers star thinks he needs more results to be at same level as Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel
Tom Pidcock has said that he will be "another step up next year", as he approaches his second road season with Ineos Grenadiers.
The Briton, who won his first cyclo-cross World Cup events this winter, told VeloNews that he thought he was as good or will be as good as Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, two 'cross stars who have successfully transitioned to the road.
Pidcock said: "I believe that I am as good as them, or will be as good as them. I think they’re the top echelon of the sport, so it’s great to be placed next to them.
"Some people seem to think I’m there now, but I need more results to really be next to them, let’s be honest. And so that’s what I’m going to work to achieve."
In his first year at WorldTour level, the 22-year old won Brabantse Pijl and narrowly finished second to Van Aert at the Amstel Gold Race. He also achieved top-six finishes at Strade Bianche, Flèche Wallonne and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurnes.
After racing his first Vuelta a España, Pidcock was Great Britain's highest finisher in the World Championship road race, coming in sixth.
He said: "I think I’ll be another step up next year. Doing a grand tour, even if I was not there firing on all cylinders, I was still there every day, pushing.
"Coming out the back of that the fitness I had was actually kind of insane once I recovered from it. It was like nothing I’ve had before, my resting heart rate was like six beats minute beats less than normal."
Pidcock believes that he can use the experience he has already gained, both from racing and riding alongside Ineos Grenadiers' classics squad, to go further and win more next year.
"I was the least experienced person in the team this year," he explained. "When you’re racing with these guys that are so experienced you’re just always constantly picking up little things and you adjust to how the more experienced guys operate.
"I think with a bit more experience I could have done more with the shape I had this year, but it went pretty well anyway. I learned a lot, and I showed I can be at the front of races.
"Next year with more experience I can go into all the races a bit differently. I want to win some more."
In cyclo-cross this winter, Pidcock has won World Cup races at Holst and Rucphen, and has come second to Van Aert twice. While Van der Poel is out with injury, Pidcock is a favourite for the World Championships, which come at the end of this month.
The Olympic mountain-bike gold medallist also received an MBE for his sporting exploits in the Queen's New Years Honours list.
On what he has learned, Pidcock said: "The big thing going into the road season in 2021 was the endurance and being able to race the distance of pro races.
"The intensity wasn’t so much an issue – it doesn’t get more intense than ‘cross. Not to say I would be the best but I knew, intense intensity-wise, I could be up there."
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Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.
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