Tom Pidcock headlines new British cyclo-cross team

Young talent breaks contract with Sven Nys' Telenet Fidea Lions

British cyclo-cross and road racing talent, Tom Pidcock has broken his contract with Belgian cyclo-cross team Telenet Fidea Lions to head up a new British cyclo-cross squad, named TP Racing.

TP Racing is registered at the offices of Trinity Sports Management, run by agent Andrew McQuaid, who also represents Continental squad Team Wiggins - Pidcock's road team - and a number of headline road riders. A representative from Trinity Sports Management said the team would be built around Pidcock and was something the young rider has wanted to do for a while.

In a press release, Belgian team Telenet Fidea Lions confirmed the split and voiced their support for Pidcock in pursuing the opportunity of competing on a British-registered team. 

"In a mutual understanding, Telenet Fidea Lions and Tom Pidcock have agreed to end their collaboration," read the statement. "Last year, Pidcock chose to be part of Telenet Fidea Lions for his first CX winter as U23, combining it with a British road program. The cooperation went very well, but Tom was on the radar of many teams. Next winter, he will transfer to a newly British-registered CX team."

Pidcock added: "I want to thank everyone from the Telenet Fidea Lions for all they have done for me this past winter. During my months with the team I have gained valuable experiences and achieved great results. However, when an opportunity to ride for a British CX team came up, it was something I couldn't let go."

In a press release from Trinity Sports Management, Pidcock explained further: "When Trinity Sports Management discussed with me the opportunity of creating a British CX team, I just couldn't say no. Working alongside Trinity Sports Management on organising the set up of the team, from technical partners to staff, is something that I have loved having input in. I am delighted to join the team and look forward to the new season."

Pidcock has excelled in both cyclo-cross and road disciplines. In 2017, he won the junior time trial at the World Championships, along with Paris-Roubaix Juniors, and the National Criterium Championships. He also won the junior title in the scratch race at the National Track Championships before signing for Team Wiggins to develop further on the road.

In cyclo-cross, Pidcock has been the world, European and national champion in the junior categories, as well as national champion at U23 level. Last season he won the UCI U23 World Cup.

Former multiple cyclo-cross world champion Sven Nys, who is now the team manager at Telenet Fidea Lions, said: "From the very first meetings with Tom, we knew how he would like to build his career and that he is a rider who is sought after by WorldTour teams.

"Last year we worked together in a nice way and we preferred to do that for another winter, but when a team with this allure makes him an offer, we can agree to the collaboration with mutual respect."

Supporting young British talent, the new British squad TP Racing have two other riders registered with the team so far: Daniel Tulett and Emily Wadsworth. Both also 19 years old, Tulett came second to Pidcock in the junior race at the 2017 Cyclo-cross World Championships, while Wadsworth finished in the top-10 at the Women's Elite road race at the national championships last month.

Tulett said on the announcement of the team: "When you look at the success of of British riders in cycle-cross in recent seasons, I think it is fantastic that we now have the opportunity to ride for a British-registered continental 'cross team.

"Having raced with and against Tom since we were 10 years old, I am delighted to join the team and look forward to next season."

Andrew McQuaid confirmed the team are finalising technical and non-technical partners with further details being shared soon.

Speaking on Pidcock and the creation of the team, McQuaid said: "Working with Tom over the past couple of years, it has been really exciting to see how he keeps developing and improving both on and off road. 

"Creating this team centred around Tom, building an environment he enjoys, seemed to be a natural progression. In addition, we are passionate about helping other young British riders coming through and look forward to supporting Dan and Emily on their racing ambitions. We are very excited about what this team can grow into over the next few years.

"Finally, I would just like to add that Telenet Fidea Lions have been extremely understanding of the situation and I extend my gratitude to them for everything they have done to date."

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