Tom Pidcock: Tour of Britain route 'not really ideal for me'

Brit says he wants to win home stage race, even if the course plays in Wout van Aert's favour

Tom Pidcock looks pensively in Ineos Grenadiers kit
(Image credit: Alex Whitehead/

Ineos Grenadiers rider Tom Pidcock has said the route for this year’s Tour of Britain is far from suited to his skill set, but he will still battle for the victory.

The Brit, who was recently crowned the cross country mountain bike world champion, is one of the big contenders to win the eight-stage race, which started on Sunday in Altrincham. 

Across the week, Pidcock is expected to jostle with fellow favourite Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) for the title, but has warned the course is “not really ideal” for his strengths.

“It’s not really the best route they could have come up with in my opinion,” the 24-year-old told The Telegraph. “Monday’s stage in Wrexham is only 110km with a short climb not far from the finish so that could be quite a fun, fast day. But yeah, it’s not really ideal for me having so many sprint stages.” 

Five of the first six stages of this year’s race are slated to finish in sprints, with the only real uphill test coming on the final day, in the form of Caerphilly Mountain. The climb, which will decide the race winner next Sunday, stretches out across 1.3km, with an average gradient in excess of 10%. 

“It’s quite weighted towards [Van Aert’s] characteristics,” Pidcock said of the route. “It’s not a race where you race up Alpine climbs, so the time gaps are only going to be small.

“I’ll give it my best. I always want to win but I’ll just try to enjoy riding with my mates and see what we can get out of it. I’m sure the atmosphere will be brilliant. It’s always great racing in front of home crowds.” 

This July, Pidcock enjoyed the responsibility of being one of Ineos Grenadiers’ protected GC riders at the Tour de France. He finished 13th, almost 48 minutes down on the winner Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), but said the race “taught me a lot”. 

“Riding GC in a Grand Tour is very unrewarding for the amount of effort you put in,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it gives the biggest buzz.” 

After the Tour, Pidcock travelled to Glasgow to compete in the mountain bike events at the UCI World Championships. He left Scotland with one gold and one bronze medal, and went on to debut his cross country rainbow jersey at a World Cup event in Andorra last Sunday, finishing third. 

“I’m not on top form,” he said, feeling the effects of a busy summer calendar. “But I’m not in a bad place.” 

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.