The 23-year-old "can't fail really" according to Ellingworth, but still has some work to do to be a contender for general classification.
Pidcock’s maiden outing at the Tour last year was a huge success. The Leeds-born rider capped his first Tour appearance with a stage win on Alpe d’Huez and wore the white jersey of the best young rider for several days too.
Speaking to the media before the Tour Grand Départ, which takes place in Bilbao on Saturday, Ellingworth explained that he believes Ineos’ young star ‘still has some work to do’ before mounting a serious GC challenge but that he may look to go ‘a step further’ this time out.
“I think he’s still got some work to do to be a general contender for the GC, that’s for sure,” Ellingworth said. “It’s like a stepping stone towards his future dreams and ambitions, he’s certainly got ambitions in the Tour but as we’ve agreed with him, he’s got some other objectives he wants to achieve on that journey too.
“He would certainly like to go a step further than his achievements last year, let’s say that. As a debutant last year winning a stage was a huge start. To be honest with you, I think he really felt how big the Tour was for the first time and I think it really got him engaged in the Tour and got him thinking actually I’d love to be part of this in the bigger picture.
"That was really good for us and got him really motivated.”
Ellingworth touched on Pidcock’s sensational start to the 2023 season which saw him win Strade Bianche and finish third and second respectively at Amstel Gold Race and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. However, he explained that Pidcock had not had the run into the Tour that he would have liked.
“He’s had a bloody good year, three podiums in three one-day races, the mountain bike programme that he ran was successful, just he wasn’t that good in the Tour de Suisse and wasn’t as good as he wanted to be in Suisse,” he said.
“Although this is where I feel these guys can’t fail really, every step is a learning curve. He’s at that point in his career where even when he takes a knock it’s a moment of right, reflect on yourself and then move on.”
“I’m pretty sure we’re going to see a better Tom Pidcock than what we saw in Suisse," Ellingworth said. "He was actually going quite well, he just got it a bit wrong going in and paid the price.”
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