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New season, same knee niggles for Tom Pidcock.
Pidcock told VeloNews on Friday that the tendinitis that plagued him through the summer continues to nag. The news casts a shadow over the young Brit’s highly anticipated cyclocross debut at Superprestige Boom this weekend.
“Honestly, it’s not better. I still need to continue working hard in rehab. As of now, it’s not better,” Pidcock said of his knee during a telephone call Friday.
Pidcock been suffering from the nagging overuse injury since February. The problem heightened through the load of his first WorldTour road season with Ineos Grenadiers and reached its painful zenith at his Vuelta a España grand tour debut, causing him to sit out the autumnal Paris-Roubaix.
Despite indications earlier in the fall that a spell of rehab had put the problem in the rear-view, Pidcock said Friday that the problem returned as he prepared for the cyclocross season.
“It’s better than it was. In the Vuelta I wouldn’t say it was unbearable, but it wasn’t good. So it’s a lot better than that,” he said. “But now it’s starting to niggle again and become annoying. Not really what you want when you just want to be focussing on training.”
Knee injury or not, Pidcock will make his CX season debut at Superprestige Boom on Saturday, where he will meet season-long nemesis Wout van Aert, who is also restarting at the Belgian race.
Pidcock was quick to tamp down expectations for his first ‘cross after an off-season focused on rest and rehab rather than race efforts and training.
“No one should expect anything from me Saturday,” he said. “I’ve shown in the last few years that you should never expect anything from my first few races in ‘cross.
“But I’m excited, a lot more than I was last year. I’m not dreading the cold and the winter like before. I’ve had a good break and a good build-up – I’m motivated.”
Pidcock will follow an intense race schedule through the festive period with a view to peaking for the Fayetteville worlds, where he hopes to dethrone reigning world champion Mathieu van der Poel.
He’ll be hoping to be free of that knee problem by then, too.