Pidcock forfeits Giro d’Italia for mountain biking in May


With much of the men’s peloton heading to Hungary and Italy for the Giro d’Italia, and others using May as a training block ahead of the June stage races and the Tour de France, Tom Pidcock takes a different route as he changes disciplines to get back on his mountain bike.

The 22-year-old Olympic cross-country mountain bike champion is set to take part in four mountain bike races this month in Germany and the Czech Republic, avoiding the possibility of competing in his second career Grand Tour at the Giro d’Italia.

He will travel to Albstadt in Germany for round two of the UCI World Cup this weekend, where he will contest Friday’s short track race and Sunday’s cross country race. Next weekend (May 13-15), he should do the same at Nové Mesto, where he won last year.

“It was a difficult Classics season, to say the least, with a few setbacks too many,” Pidcock wrote on Instagram. “A few MTB World Cup weekends should do the trick to get the train back on track. Albstadt and Nové Mesto are coming.”

Last winter, Pidcock was among the big names on the Ineos Grenadiers team roster for the Giro d’Italia. In December, sporting director Matteo Tosatto indicated he would join Richard Carapaz, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Elia Viviani at the Corsa Rosa.

However, five months is a long time in pro cycling, and Pidcock will be swapping his road bike for a mountain bike this month instead. His trainer Kurt Bogaerts said Het Nieuwsblad that a difficult spring campaign, which saw Pidcock’s racing disrupted by illness, led to a change in plans for him and the team.

“You have to be able to perform consistently for 21 consecutive days,” Bogaerts said of the Grand Tour of Italy selection. “Overall, he was better than last year, but he alternated too many good and bad days.

“We know the reason, he fell ill before Strade Bianche, which made Milan-San Remo turn badly. His Flèche Wallonne was also bad, but after a few days of rest we saw a good Tom again in Liège-Bastogne-Liège . .”

In March, Ineos deputy director Rod Ellingworth said Cycling news that Pidcock was in the frame for his Tour de France debut this summer, where he would race alongside Geraint Thomas, Dani Martínez, Adam Yates and Filippo Ganna after Egan Bernal’s career-shattering accident in January.

“We don’t know if he will be racing the Giro or the Tour this year,” Ellingworth said at the time. “He has a big spring program so we will see how it goes. It may be too early to fully understand if he can become a great Grand Tour rider, but you have to keep the door open and explore all the possibilities. options.”

Bogaerts said it was still too early to talk about what Pidcock – who recently signed a five-year extension from Ineos – might do in July. He is expected to return to road racing in June with the eight-day Tour de Suisse or the shorter Route d’Occitanie.

“In the early stages he could possibly try his luck,” Bogaerts said of the Tour. “For GC, he should be able to play a supporting role for Martínez, Thomas and Yates.

“But it’s too early to talk about it. After [May’s mountain bike races] reconstruction will follow. He will leave in principle on the Tour de Suisse or the Route d’Occitanie. Last year he was supposed to race in Switzerland, but he broke his collarbone just before.”


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