World time trial title a 'bonus' for Pidcock, road race the priority

'I'll be a very marked man,' says British talent

Thomas Pidcock (Great Britain) continued his stellar young cycling career with a world title-winning ride in the junior time trial at the World Championships. The 18-year-old came into the event on the back of a season that included wins in the junior Paris-Roubaix, and the World and Europe cyclo-cross titles. He stormed through the 21.1-kilometre course in Bergen to beat Antonio Puppio (Italy) by 11 seconds, with Filip Maciejuk (Poland) in third.

The British talent, who has been likened to Peter Sagan due to his dominance at the junior level, came into the time trial believing he wasn't among the favourites. However, he set the second fastest times at the first two time checks before coming through in the second half of the demanding course.

"That was pretty hard and it took a while for me to get my composure right. I was sitting on the hot-seat and struggling to keep my eyes open," he told Cyclingnews at the finish.

"The strategy was to ride flat out, push over the climbs and take time on the corners."

It turned out to be a perfectly executed ride from the Yorkshire-born rider. Pidcock had his focus on Saturday's road race before today's events but as the time trial drew closer he began to pay closer attention.

"My friends all said that I could win but I thought I'd do alright. I didn't think that I'd win. To be honest I didn't really think about it. The closer the race got the more I thought I could win but I was more thinking about the road race. This is a bonus."

With the road race a few days away Pidcock will return to the Great Britain camp on the outskirts of Bergen in order to regain focus for another hit-out. He will be a marked man in the road race but that comes with its advantages too.

"I take into it the fact that I've already won a World title. Everyone will be looking at me and I'll be a very marked man," he said.

When asked if his time trial title means others have to make the race, allowing him to sit back and pick his moves, the all-rounder agreed: "That's true. We've also got a really strong team so if they're looking at me I'm sure that my teammates can do an equally good job.

"I don't think it will be too difficult to keep focus. The rest of my teammates will be focused. They still all want to do well."

Pidcock will begin his 'cross campaign in October but in 2018 he will augment his place within Sven Nys' team with a position in the Wiggins road team.

"I still like both and I'm still good at both so I'm going to carry on doing both. I need to have the rest in between to make sure I don't burn out," he said.

"Cyclo-cross is the main target for this season and the road will be supplementary to that."

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