‘Racing at the Tour is just full gas all the time’ - Tom Pidcock looks back on ‘explosive’ Tour de France debut

British rider explains the need to sacrifice aims in the classics for future Tour de France general classification bid

Tom Pidcock
Pidcock took a stunning maiden Tour de France stage victory on Alpe d'Huez in July
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tom Pidcock has all the talent needed to attempt to win a future Tour de France, but says that in order to tackle the “explosive” general classification racing, he would need to put aims in the spring classics temporarily to one side.

Reflecting back on his breathtaking Tour de France debut at Rouleur Live in London, the British rider explained that the French grand tour was “a completely different beast” to any other races he had experienced before.

Pidcock told Cycling Weekly that his experiences at the sharp end of the action were completely eye opening.

He said: “Racing at the Tour is just full gas all the time. When you’re going up the long climbs and you’re at threshold, and then you’re attacking each other it’s just so explosive. It’s really like nothing else.”

“I think in some ways, if you wanted to win the Tour then you would need to sacrifice the classics that season. You couldn’t do them all.” he added.

After storming to two successive Tour de France victories in 2020 and 2021, Tadej Pogačar missed out on the overall victory to Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard at this year’s race. 

Meanwhile Pidcock finished 16th overall and spent several days in the white jersey. He also took a sensational maiden Tour stage victory on the mythical Alpe d’Huez climb.

The British rider told the audience at Rouleur Live that his experiences of the huge crowds on the legendary climb were simply incomparable to any other sporting arena.

“I remember the crowds more than anything on Alpe d'Huez,” he said. “At times it just seemed like there was no road in front of me, then suddenly people would move and you would be able to ride through.”

“I don’t think you could experience that anywhere else or in any other sport,” he added.

Pidcock was present in Paris for the recent unveiling of the 2023 Tour de France route, and explained that the punchy opening stages in the heart of the Spanish Basque Country could ignite drama from the very beginning.

He said: “I think it looks hard and there’s no easing into it. Straightaway there will be possibilities for the GC to make time.”

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.