After signing a five-year deal with Inios Grenadiers, Tom Pidcock is aiming for the top of cycling.
Speaking at the press conference of his team ahead of the Tour of Flanders on Thursday, the British rider did not hide his desire to win the Tour de France.
“Of course I want to win the tour one day,” he told the media via Zoom. “I said clearly. When, I do not know. ⁇
The 22-year-old has already proven himself on the world stage as this year’s World Cyclo-Cross Champion after winning gold in the mountain bike event at last year’s Tokyo Olympics. He has proven to be a force to be reckoned with on the road for the past year, going into Sunday’s round favorite, though he denies it.
When asked if he was one of Flanders’ best picks, he replied: “No, I do not think so. There are boys who have already proven themselves in this race. I have a chance, but yes … it should work well in the race.”
The new deal with Inios has put an end to months of speculation about his future, and the world’s largest bike brands are eagerly awaiting to see a highly talented rider in their products across all segments.
With the arrival of young riders such as Magnus Sheffield, Kim Haydak and Ben Turner this year, the contract with the British team can be seen as part of a new era within the team. This was cited as one of the reasons why Pidcock chose to stay with Inios.
“Now you see a few young people signing up and we’re creating the next runners wave,” he said. “I wonder if I can lead this, guide these new riders and create our own bubble and group. I think we can do very well.
“Ben and Magnus are on top of the pay scale, and being part of it is really special. ⁇
Speaking at the same press conference, Inios DS Service Knavan said that Pidcock supported the idea of excelling in sports, but that he should focus on the classics first as he does now.
Pidcock made his grand tour debut last year at the Vulta A Espana, originally scheduled to compete in the Giro d’Italia in 2022, but there have been speculations that he will go on tour instead.
“Everybody knows Tom has great talent everywhere,” Knawen said. “He can climb, he’s good at a TT, he’s fast and he’s sure he can perform well on grand tours.
“First I say try to win ODIs and pursue those dreams, then try grand tours. ⁇
Focus on Flanders
It’s been a good week for Pidcock: Wednesday’s third at Dwarz Gate Vlander, announcing his new contract on Thursday and announcing that Flemish’s favorite Vout van Ert may be out of contention.
“It’s definitely going to change the course,” he said. “The number of people in the final and the strength of the jumbo will change. [Visma]. ⁇
His run at Dwarz marked his return from a health injury that delayed his entire start to the season, and he certainly proved that he can perform on Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.
“I got a lot of confidence from Dwarf,” Pidcock said. “It was a tough race, we accepted it, maybe the final was not perfect, but I was happy with the way I ran and the way we ran on my feet and as a team.
“I feel very positive after Wednesday. I felt like I was coming back to myself. He returned to the forefront and rediscovered its taste and feel. This is important this weekend. I do not know if I’ve fully recovered, but on Wednesday I felt better. That’s all I really know.
One difference with a race like the Tour of Flanders is the distance: Sunday’s race will be 90 kilometers longer than Wednesday’s, and there will be moves to win the race at any moment.
“Distance has certainly been a factor in my recent health problems, as a person who has not had so many runs on my feet, but I do not think this is a limiting factor,” Pidcock said.
If Van Ert does not attend, he can open the door for a British driver or others, such as Matthew van der Poyle or Thaddeus Pogakar, to make his racing debut.
“There is no room for vigilance today,” he said. “If the race is going on, you must be there or you will not be there.
“I see he’s going early. Like I said from Pogačar, he’s probably inexperienced.
This is Pidcock’s second appearance in Flanders, and he admits he can play against him. It is also the first time he has run in front of fans since walking behind closed doors in the 2021 edition due to an epidemic.
“What makes the race so special is the crowd, which I have never experienced before. With racing history, ”he said. “Winning the Flanders is a monument, the most important race of the year for the Belgians. I spent a lot of time here, and this is a race I want to win in my career, and it sure is.
One of the big news this week was the announcement that Netflix would be producing a documentary series on the Tour de France, away from the East Flanders, and that one of the eight teams involved would be Inios Grenadiers.
It will be partly directed by the makers of the much-loved Netflix series. Drive to survive, It tells the internal stories of Formula 1 teams selected throughout the racing season.
“I think it’s great in sports,” Pidcock said. “I think it’s going to show the sport to more audiences and give them insight into the sport,” he said. I think Formula 1 is easy to understand, but cycling is a bit more complicated because there is really no such series. The [show] It will be a great achievement in sports.
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