Tom Pidcock unsure whether he will defend cyclocross world title in 2023

“I don’t know yet, crossing in the winter and being good in the classics is a difficult combination” Pidcock said

Tom Pidcock
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tom Pidcock has confirmed that he will compete in cyclocross this winter, although he is yet to decide on whether he will look to defend his current world title. 

The British rider was present at the 2023 Tour de France route presentation on Thursday in Paris, and told Sporza (opens in new tab) that even though he plans to compete in cyclocross, his aim will be being fully prepared for next year’s spring classics campaign on the road. 

When asked whether he will look to defend his cyclocross world title next February, Pidcock said: “I don’t know yet, crossing in the winter and being good in the classics is a difficult combination.” 

The Ineos Grenadiers rider was completely unmatched by his rivals to claim the cyclocross world title in Fayetteville at the beginning of 2022. 

The Leeds-born rider has had an incredible year in all his various disciplines, taking the cyclocross world title, winning his first Tour de France stage on Alpe d’Huez and becoming European mountain bike champion

While he knows he will compete in cyclocross this year, he admitted that the full details of his programme are yet to be finalised. 

“In three to four weeks I will ride my first cyclocross,” he said. “I’m definitely going to cross, although I don’t know exactly how much yet. I want to have a good preparation for the road season, but next week I should know my full calendar,” he added. 

Looking at the 2023 Tour de France route, Pidcock said that it’s “very tough”. He explained that the punchy opening stages in the Spanish Basque Country could ignite drama from the very beginning. 

He said: “I think it’s hard, it starts hard already. There’s no easing into it, straight away there’s possibilities for the GC to make time or even lose time. I think that also means there may be less crashes.” 

In comparison to this year’s edition of the French Grand Tour, Pidcock said that the 2023 route will be more extreme than the 2022 race. 

“There’s some big mountain stages and then quite a few flatter stages. So yeah, there’s more of the extremes than this year's Tour where there were quite a few intermediate stages,” Pidcock said. 

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Tom Thewlis
News and Features Writer

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. Alongside his day job, prior to starting with the team, he wrote a variety of different pieces as a contributor to a cycling website, Casquettes and Bidons, which included interviews with up and coming British riders.