If there’s one thing that’s not holding back Tom Pidcock, it’s ambition.
Hot off the back of a landmark cyclocross victory over Mathieu van der Poel last weekend, the 21-year-old Brit is cranking up his targets to a 10 as he emerges as cycling’s new multi-discipline star, racing on a mix of dirt and pavement.
“I want to become world champion in all three disciplines,” Pidcock told Sporza on Wednesday. “I would like to do all of that in one year, but if I could already win all the jerseys once, I will be very happy.”
Pidcock has more than proven his talent in the muddy winters of ‘cross with a second-place to van der Poel at the worlds this winter and his confident victory over the Dutchman in Gavere on Sunday. Having also won the U23 cross-country mountain bike world title, taken third at the U23 road worlds, and placed as best of the Brits at the senior race in Imola this September, Pidcock is far from nervous over his WorldTour debut with Ineos Grenadiers next season.
Contrastingly, the prospect of racing with the Tour de France powerhouse is only fueling his drive to win everything within reach.
“There has always been a voice in my head that wanted to win the Tour, but it was only recently that I realized that I really want to and that it might be possible,” he said. “Many other riders of my generation are already doing very well in the pros. That also gives me confidence that I will be able to do it next year.”
Kurt Bogaerts, Pidcock’s coach and sport director for Trinity Racing cyclocross team, believes the sky’s the limit for his young protege.
“I don’t know where his limits are – you can’t rule out anything with him,” Bogaerts said. “He is the greatest talent I have worked with.”
Bogaerts was wary of not letting Pidock’s endless ambition get the better of him too early, however, and is looking to feather the brakes on the Brit’s rapid progress as he enters into a three-year contract with Ineos Grenadiers.
“I don’t want to skip steps,” he said. “What I really want to achieve now is that he can fully develop as an athlete. That would be the greatest honor for me as a trainer. I want to be able to look straight in the mirror in a few years and know that I didn’t destroy him. That’s what counts. And if he didn’t win the Tour in the end, then I can live with that.”
For now, Pidcock is clearing space in his wardrobe as he prepares to build his collection of rainbow jerseys, and maybe even a yellow one, too.