The Olympic mountain bike gold medalist and world cyclocross champion was out of contract at the end of 2022, and officials confirmed Thursday he signed a contract extension.
“Ineos Grenadiers have backed me all the way, across every discipline I’ve raced in,” Pidcock said Thursday. “I couldn’t have asked for better support leading up to my mountain-bike Olympic gold and cyclocross world title. For my future goals — chasing monuments, world titles, and one day a grand tour – this is definitely the best place to be,” Pidcock said in a statement issued by the British WorldTour team.
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“Ineos Grenadiers is the right team for me. It’s become my home over the past year and it’s incredible to think it’s the team I grew up dreaming of joining. To have the trust of the team and Ineos is an amazing feeling. With the quality of staff and riders I’ve met and raced alongside, it’s been clear since day one that there’s no better team in which to spend the next five years of my career.”
VeloNews first reported that Pidcock was out of contract in February. Trek Segafredo later confirmed that they had held initial negotiations with the rider’s agent during the cyclocross world championships in January.
However, it was Bora-Hansgrohe, with financial support from Specialized, which pushed closest to signing Pidcock away from Ineos. They reportedly offered an initial deal of an estimated four million euros per season, with bonus and pay increases built into the contract. The team declined to comment when asked if they had approached Pidcock.
Pidcock told VeloNews during the Volta ao Algarve in February that rival teams were attempting to court him, but sources within Ineos were confident that a deal at that time was 99 percent done.
“Tom’s an incredibly talented bike racer but what sets him apart is his versatility,” team manager Dave Brailsford said Thursday.
“Already an Olympic gold medalist, cyclocross world champion, and proven winner on the road, he’s at the heart of an exciting new generation of young riders who’ve grown up riding multiple disciplines and love full-on racing. I admire the values he brings to his racing, which fit perfectly with those of the Ineos Grenadiers. Given he is so young, easy-going, and fun, the intensity and determination he has is remarkable and he gives his all every time he gets on a bike.
“The length of the relationship we’ve agreed with Tom gives us the opportunity to enable his ambitious, multi-disciplined goals while giving him the benefit of learning from the wisdom and experience of his many champion teammates. I’m very excited about what we can achieve together.”
Pidcock will lead the line for Ineos Grenadiers on Sunday at the Tour of Flanders.
Analysis: The big one that almost slipped away
It was frankly astonishing that the Ineos Grenadiers management allowed Pidcock to get this close to the end of his first contract with the team.
Call it hesitation, call it a questionable transfer strategy, but Pidcock was always going to entice offers from several rival WorldTour teams once it was obvious that he was available.
It was no surprise that squads such as Bora-Hansgrohe, Trek Segafredo, and EF-Education were all linked to interest in the British rider. His talents on the road are obvious but for teams with major bike brands behind them, Pidcock offered something that only a few riders on the planet can guarantee — versatility.
That element drove interest from Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale, but it was Bora-Hansroghe that lead the pack throughout the early months of this season.
Trek met with Pidcock’s agent back in January and quickly got the sense that a move was unlikely, while EF was priced out by Bora’s deep pockets.
That effectively left Ineos with a decision to make. Either the team increased its initial offer, or risk missing out.
But sources within the team, even just a few weeks ago, were split on whether Pidcock would remain. VeloNews received confirmation that the deal to stay was agreed earlier this month and that Pidcock only needed to put pen to paper.
A five-year deal is a huge sign of intent from Brailsford. The UK squad needs freshening up in light of the new dominance from Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates.
The uncertain long-term health of Egan Bernal is another question mark, and losing Pidcock was unfathomable given his pedigree and age. He represents the leader of an up-and-coming crop of talent at Ineos and his signature is a major step as the British team continues to build for the future.