Tom Pidcock will skip the cyclo-cross World Championships this winter, according to a report from Het Laatse Nieuws.
The report states that according to his coach, Kurt Bogaerts, the 24-year-old will instead ride a shorter cyclo-cross programme, mainly focusing on races and events during the Christmas period in December.
“There is currently no definitive, clearly defined winter program. But in any case it will be very focused, with an emphasis on the end-of-year period," Bogaerts said.
Similarly to last year, Pidcock will begin his CX campaign around mid-December before wrapping it up early in the new year ready to prepare for the Spring Classics on the road.
Pidcock reaped the benefits of operating in a similar way last season which culminated with him winning Strade Bianche in March.
“He contests a number of races during the busy end-of-year period. And then it doesn't last very long after that. A bit similar to last season. The World Championships? No, I don't think so," Bogaerts said.
Wout van Aert will also skip the cyclo-cross World Championships which are being held in Tábor, Czech Republic next year. Van Aert is also set to ride a similarly short cross programme as he builds towards his big goal, the Giro d’Italia, next May.
In Pidcock and Van Aert’s absence, Mathieu van der Poel will be the outright favourite to retain the World title that he won in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands in February.
According to Het Laatse Nieuws’ interview with Bogaerts, the Tour de France and mountain bike events at the Paris Olympic Games will be Pidcock’s major goals next season.
“Make no mistake, Tom is really looking forward to cyclo-cross. But it remains an 'extra'. Although with great added value, as this year proved. He was there immediately, with a win in the queen stage of the Tour of the Algarve and the Strade Bianche,” Bogaerts added.
“It is important to properly substantiate his condition and ensure that he does not break down during the season. That works out well, because there have never been any spectacular dips so far.”
Meanwhile, Pidcock’s Ineos Grenadiers team will begin next season without the leadership of Rod Ellingworth, who is reported to have resigned on Friday morning.
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