At just 18 years of age, Tom Pidcock is one of the hottest prospects in world cycling. The Leeds-born teenager already has junior national, European and World titles in cyclo-cross, last season's junior Paris-Roubaix title, as well as taking the junior time trial world title in Bergen last autumn.
Pidcock's palmares and panache have already caught the attention of cyclo-cross legend Sven Nys and, former Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion, Bradley Wiggins, signing for the former riders' cyclo-cross and road teams, respectively.
Speaking to Cyclingnews at the Team Wiggins team presentation earlier this the week in London, Pidcock said he plans to continue to mix his focus between cyclo-cross and road racing for the coming season in the pursuit of a ride at WorldTour level in the coming years.
"I start the road program in April, I think at the Klondike GP, and then hopefully the Tour de Yorkshire, but apart from that, I don't know yet," Pidcock told Cyclingnews. "I don't think I'm going to the World Championships, I'm with Telenet [Fidea Lions] from September and I think I'm going to America for the [cyclo-cross] World Cup.
"I'm going to do some Elite [cyclo-cross], but I don't think I'll be going against [Wout] van Aert or [Mathieu] van der Poel. I can't beat them yet, maybe I'll get close but I don't think I can beat them just yet."
Pidcock's early promise draws similarities with this season's cyclo-cross World Cup winner, and arguably the most desirable signature for a WorldTour contract, Van der Poel. Both Pidcock and Van der Poel achieved junior cyclo-cross titles at national, continental and international level. Both have titles at junior level at the World Championships. Pidcock's title came against the clock, while Van der Poel's came during the road race at the 2013 World Championships in Florence.
Van der Poel has chosen to remain in cyclo-cross for now, while this year's World Champion Van Aert has switched his focus to the road for the remainder of the 2018 season. In the meantime, Pidcock is mulling over a similar conundrum about his own future.
"That's something I'm deciding and thinking about at the moment, whether to re-sign a contract. Hopefully [it will be] two more years, so three in total," he said.
Ex-cyclo-cross riders have forged successful road careers in the past. Three-time cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar has twice finished on the Paris-Roubaix podium, and Pidcock's junior Paris-Roubaix title last season may well be attributed to excelling across the two disciplines.
When asked if taking victory in the velodrome in Roubaix at the elite level was a goal in the future, Pidcock said that his sights are set on making it to the WorldTour and continuing to build upon his reputation rather than a specific event.
"I don't really have any targets like that. I think being talked about as the top guy is what I want to be, but that means winning races and doing it in a way that catches people's attention," he said.
"Of course, [the WorldTour] is where I want to end up. It's just the time when I move to WorldTour, that's the only thing that needs discussion."
It goes without saying that Pidcock has all the credentials and the ability to achieve whatever he sets his sights on in the future. As the Yorkshire teenager suggests, it's not so much a case of if, but when.
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