One of Tom Pidcock’s Ineos Grenadiers coaches has lauded his ability to turn his potential into results so quickly.
Pidcock’s coach Kurt Bogaerts has a professional relationship with the rider dating back to 2018, but the pair of them now work together at Ineos.
Speaking to Cyclingnews, Bogaerts explained how impressed he is with the 21-year-old's early successes.
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“We knew he’s a huge talent with a great work ethic and when you have those things combined with a desire to have fun, you know it can work. But whenever you go up a level, you have to see where you are. To put it into results already is quite unique,” he said.
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Pidcock already has a podium finish at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, a fifth place at Strade Bianche, 15th at Milan-San Remo, and a strong showing at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2021. He also finished fourth at the Cyclocross World Championships.
With early and varied success, Bogaerts says he cannot be pigeonholed into a particular style.
“I wouldn’t know exactly how to describe him, actually,” Bogaerts said.
“You cannot really put him in one box. You can put him in different styles of racing and he can be really strong.”
The coach explained how his success has led to a rethink about what races he might take on over the remaining events this season.
“After Opening Weekend we analysed how he can go in the Flemish races. With his low body weight, he’s not a natural match for them, but we saw he was able to handle the cobbles already,” Bogaerts said.
“At Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, we wanted to take things step by step, but there were only positive signs. He was still fit, and not fatigued, and he was active in the races. When it works out like that, you have the opportunity to look at the next races.
“Initially we thought he would need a specific training block for the Ardennes but we’ve since seen the level he has. He’s in such good shape he almost doesn’t need to train, he can use the races.”
Bogaerts compared the 21-year-old Briton to two of the best riders in modern cycling, Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe.
“Physically, Tom is more towards the Alaphilippe kind of rider, with his weight and his climbing ability, but then his mentality is like Van der Poel – he likes to race,” he explained.
“We don’t need to put him in a box – that’s not going to work. He needs to have that freedom and to race with his heart. Tom needs to be free and to keep that identity. That will be key to a long and happy career."
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