News: Tom Pidcock heading for a Monument

Neo WorldTour pro Tom Pidcock was able to fit in right away between the big boys in Strade Bianche and this weekend he gets the chance to do that again, in Milan-SanRemo, the first monument in his career

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News: Tom Pidcock heading for a Monument

Neo WorldTour pro Tom Pidcock was able to fit in right away between the big boys in Strade Bianche and this weekend he gets the chance to do that again, in Milan-SanRemo, the first monument in his career

His preparation was typical. While the top riders were preparing for Milan-Sanremo either in Paris-Nice or in Tirreno-Adriatico, Tom Pidcock covered many a kilometre at home in Andorra looking ahead to the whole of spring.

“That is a conscious choice”, says his coach Kurt Bogaerts, also a sports director at Ineos. “After the Strade, we trained for ten days in Andorra, where we mainly worked on his basic condition. This was the first period after the cross season to work on this.”

Kurt says “you should not compare Tom with older competitors such as Van Aert, Van der Poel or Alaphilippe. At that age, you may have to have a race like Tirreno in the legs to win in Sanremo. Wout van Aert managed to win Milan-Sanremo last year without Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico in the legs. But for someone as young as Tom is, it is not a handicap to put in a good performance explained Kurt. “We have been opting for a cautious approach with Tom for a number of years. He is still only 21 years old, has raced a whole winter and also still has mountain bike plans after the spring.”

“We are working towards the spring races, but not for a lot of race days”.

According to Kurt Bogaerts, Pidcock will not start as a leader at Ineos for Milan San Remo. “We don’t want to put any pressure on him. It will remain a voyage of discovery this year. Everything is allowed, nothing is mandatory”.

“Of course there have been good results in his first races. That gives confidence to his team mates and the team management. But it is important for Tom to gain experience and learn from experienced guys like Kwiatkowski and Bernal. I understand that the outside world expects more after the opening weekend and Strade. It was enormous what he did there and it is very promising for the future.”

“But we still have to stay calm and stick to the planned route. It is wrong to already put pressure on a 21-year-old. That may not be a problem in the short term, but it may be in the longer term. And the team shares that philosophy. But with a talent like Tom Pidcock you cannot rule out anything. We knew for De Strade that the podium was possible, although that was not the ambition beforehand. Even now, the ambition is to learn and race smart, like he did in Strade. You take that with you in your development.”

“The comparison between Tom on one hand and Wout and Mathieu on the other is not valid on the road. They are much heavier built. When it comes to pure power, Tom will hit his limits at some point. We did not specifically prepare for the distance, although I think that the explosiveness in particular plays a role in that race, especially in the final. We did not train specifically for that either, but guys like Van Aert, Van der Poel and Tom train so much on explosiveness in the winter that they naturally have it.

Pidcock’s disadvantage is that he has never ridden the final of Milan-Sanremo, with the Cipressa and Poggio, not even during training. “Here too we made a conscious choice. We chose to bring some peace to Tom’s life, so that he can get used to his new life in Andorra, so that he can find his way.”

To help Tom in Milan Sanremo, Kurt says “we made a good video analysis of the final and for the rest of the race, Tom will be guided by the team management and his teammates. As for the other classics and monuments, initially, the thought was Tom would aim for the hillier races but after his performance in the opening weekend in Belgium, this may be adjusted and he could ride the Ronde (Tour of Flanders) and/or Roubaix (if it is held).

“That evaluation will be made after Milan-Sanremo” says Kurt. “We will indeed work towards the Ardennes classics first, but in Omloop we saw that he can also play a role in the cobbled classics.”

“He won’t do a stage race, like a Basque Country, because then you run the risk of overloading him. That also creates room to go on an adventure in those cobbled classics and he will take that experience into the following years, when he will have more ambition at the start.”

“Course knowledge is more important in the Flemish races than in a Milan-Sanremo. But he already knows the region of the Flemish Ardennes well, because during the winter he stays in Belgium and regularly does a training ride of 180 kilometers with all those climbs and cobbles”.



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