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Pidcock to switch straight into road mode after cyclo-cross world title

Amstel Gold Race 2021 - 55th Edition - Valkenburg - Berg en Terblijt 218,6 km - 18/04/2021 - Tom Pidcock (GBR - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo Nico Vereecken/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021
Pidcock at last year's Amstel Gold Race (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tom Pidcock will enjoy a few days of sightseeing in New York as his first elite world title sinks in, but will quickly move on and switch straight from cyclo-cross to road racing. 

The Briton, who juggles the two disciplines along with mountain biking, has filleted the 2021-22 ’cross season well, winning two World Cups before landing the world title in Fayetteville, USA, on Sunday. 

He has mixed his racing schedule with training camps with his Ineos Grenadiers team, hoping to be competitive at Worlds but also able to hit the ground running on the road. 

With the first box ticked in style, attentions now turn to the Volta ao Algarve in mid-February, as Pidcock kicks off his road season and builds towards the Classics. 

"I lack a bit in hours but I have the intensity," Pidcock said of his condition after pulling on the rainbow jersey.

"It's a different way of going into the road. I'm not going to have a very long break but then kind of have a break in the middle of the year."

Pidcock will kick things off at the Volta ao Algarve, which runs from February 16-20 and includes two punchy hilltop finishes, a 32km time trial, and two probable bunch sprints. The following weekend, he will line up at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne for Belgium’s so-called ‘Opening Weekend’ of the Classics, where he made a big impact as a newly-turned professional last year. 

He will follow a similar path as he takes in Strade Bianche (5th last year) and Milan-San Remo (15th), before confirming that he will once again ride the main cobbled Classics period, where he was under the weather last year. Still, he bounced back in the Ardennes Classics to win Brabantse Pijl, place second at Amstel Gold, and second at La Flèche Wallonne. 

He could go on to make his Liège-Bastogne-Liège debut this year, but the Ardennes period could be complicated by its proximity to the Giro d’Italia in May, where Pidcock is set to line up for his second Grand Tour for Ineos Grenadiers. 

After that, he will take his mid-season break before building up towards the Mountain Bike World Championships in France in last August and from there it’ll be back onto the road for his third World Championships of the season, in Australia in September. Pidcock has previously stated his ambition of winning all three titles, so could it be a historic rainbow triple?

"I didn’t say in the same year, I said in my career, but it’s not gone out the window just yet," he acknowledged.

First, though, Pidcock will take a few days out, flying to New York for a short holiday with his girlfriend. After that, he flies back to Europe via Belgium, where cyclo-cross season continues through February.

Pidcock had planned to stop at Worlds, so the rainbow jersey is set to be packed away for 10 months, but he did reveal a slight temptation to show off the rainbow bands. 

"I’m in Belgium next Sunday. I’m flying straight back from New York so I don’t think racing will be a good idea," he said, although he did later appear to give it more room for thought. "I’m in Belgium next Sunday, so maybe I’ll race," he added.

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Laura Weislo

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.