Despite claims from Team Wiggins that they had signed Tom Pidcock for 2018, the rider's father has confirmed that no contract has been agreed to and that the multiple junior world champion is still looking at his options. Team Wiggins do remain a 'strong option', Pidcock's father told Cyclingnews, but there are also a raft of other options on the table for the 18-year-old.
On Tuesday Simon Cope, the Team Wiggins sports director, told Cyclingnews that Pidcock had signed for the British team for 2018. The squad are set to race exclusively with under-23 riders next year, meaning that several of their Olympic track riders will be let go.
Pidcock’s agent is Andrew Mcquaid, who also runs the Wiggins squad.
"We've been working with Andrew on all the options in front of Tom. Wiggins is an option for next year and it becomes more of an option if they're going to focus on under-23s," the rider's father told Cyclingnews.
"We think that the 'cross season is going to be full-on so one of the attractions with Wiggins is that it can be more relaxed but it's still in the process of being negotiated because every man and his dog wants Tom to ride for them next year."
Pidcock has signed a contract with Sven Nys' cyclo-cross team for the coming season but there is a clause – created by McQuaid and Pidcock – that allows the rider to seek a road team for next year. Nys' team do have a road programme but it is limited and the rider and his father are looking to maximise Pidcock's development before moving to the WorldTour ranks at a later stage.
"There are other teams that Tom is interested in if they can put together the right programme between now and him riding in the WorldTour," his father said.
"Telenet have a road programme in the summer but it's largely Belgium-based and mainly used as training for the 'cross season. Tom's focus is on the 'cross in the short-term but long-term he sees himself as being a WorldTour rider, so the idea is that he focuses on the 'cross and then has a solid road programme in the summer. He's negotiated the ability to ride for a different road team in the summer. He's also talked to a number of road teams, all of whom are happy for him to do 'cross in the winter."
Interest in Pidcock's signature has increased dramatically over the last few months. He won the junior Worlds cyclo-cross title earlier in the year and on Tuesday claimed the corresponding title in the road time trial. He is also aiming for a rainbow jersey in Saturday's Worlds road race.
The rider's options, therefore, remain open, while McQuaid has the difficult task of juggling his rider's needs with those of the Continental team he manages.
"If you write down a list of all the under-23 teams in the world, that answers the question of who he's been talking to. It's all bounced up another five notches after yesterday."