Cycling News

Tom Pidcock to race MTB World Cup 6 days before Tour de France

Tom Pidcock broke a famous Strava KOM but deleted it…so did it really happen?

World XCO champion Tom Pidcock is taking a slightly unusual lead-up to the Tour de France: riding a MTB race just days before the Grand Départ.

Pidcock’s final mountain bike race before the Tour de France (and Olympics) will be in the Swiss Alps at Crans-Montana on June 23. That’s only six days before he starts the Tour in Florence on June 29.

The Brit is aiming to defend his Olympic gold he won at the 2020 Olympics in Japan. That race was expected to be a battle royale between Pidcock, van der Poel and Nino Schurter.

However, that fizzled when Mathieu van der Poel dramatically crashed and DNFed. Schurter also crashed as well, but would fight back to finish 4th. Van der Poel won’t be competing in the MTB this year, instead focusing fully on the Tour and Olympic road race.

In an interview with Cycling Weekly, Pidock confirmed the news. “I’m also doing Crans Montana, the week before the Tour.”

Unusual lead-up to a Grand Tour

Although racing a MTB race just a week before the Tour is highly unusual, Pidcock is confident he can make it work.

“I don’t train on my mountain bike as much as I should, but road and mountain bikes]are quite interchangeable. Of course now, this time of year, I’m doing longer efforts in preparation for the Tour, more volume. But they all complement each other,” he said earlier this year.

Pidcock has been putting in some mega-miles (on his road bike) in the high mountains. In fact on Sunday in Andorra, he did a 5-hour ride with quite the vertical pitch. His 144-km day included some 5000 m of climbing–as well as a KOM on the Port de Cabus.

Pidcock is hoping to improve on his 2023 ride at the Tour, where he finished 13th. His coach believes he can crack the top-10. In 2022, he took a fantastic win on Alpe d’Huez after one of the most brilliant descents seen in pro cycling in years.
“Last year I didn’t really know what I wanted and what the team wanted. I didn’t have a clear goal and I paid the price for that. I came home with nothing,” he said. “This year, I want to fully focus on the general classification.”

He also hopes by riding the Grand Tour he will have the fitness that will bring him another gold medal. “Hopefully I come away from the Tour very well for the Olympics,” he said.

The Tour de France begins in Florence on June 29.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…