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‘I love this race’ – Tom Pidcock takes aim at Milan-San Remo

Tom Pidcock is quietly confident about his chance at Milan-San Remo, knowing he can perhaps take on Tadej Pogačar and Mathieu van der Poel and fight for a result if they make La Classicissima a hard, selective race over the Cipressa and Poggio.

Ineos are chasing their 500th victory since the team was created 2010 as Team Sky. They won Milan-San Remo with Michał Kwiatkowski in 2017, and Ben Swift has twice finished on the podium. Both riders will be there to help Pidcock on Saturday, with Filippo Ganna, Luke Rowe and Jhonatan Narváez also in the Ineos Grenadiers line-up.

Ganna finished second in 2023 after chasing after Tadej Pogačar on the Poggio. He will start Milan-San Remo with a protected role alongside Pidcock, but he has been struggling with a cold since Tirreno-Adriatico and so may opt to ride for the Yorkshireman.

Pidcock has ridden Milan-San Remo twice and has only finished it once, when he was 15th on his debut in 2021. But that is not a problem. Last year, he was forced to miss the Italian Monument due to concussion but is on form this year.

“I’ve not ridden Milan-San Remo much but always watched. I love this race,” Pidcock said with enthusiasm. 

“I’ve only really raced it once, in my first year, because the second year I was sick. But I lived in the south of France for a winter some years ago, and so I’ve ridden the roads of Milan-San Remo.”

Pidcock has the right kind of form for Milan-San Remo and the subsequent Classics, where he might add the Tour of Flanders to his programme.

He was eighth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and fourth at Strade Bianche. He finished ninth overall at Tirreno-Adriatico while riding for Thyman Arensman, showing he has the climbing ability to handle the expected high-pace set by UAE Team Emirates on the Cipressa. 

“I’ve been building well, I’ve not had any setbacks this year and so can take confidence from that,” he said.

Pidcock is pragmatic about what is needed to win Milan-San Remo, sensing an attack could go clear on the Cipressa if UAE Team Emirates set an infernal pace on the penultimate climb that usually only hurts a few. 

“Milan-San Remo is simple really, it’s about the people who are fastest up the Poggio and who can descend it well. Though attacks on Cipressa won’t surprise this year,” Pidcock said. 

“You need a team around you that can get you in a good position. This team around me gives me a lot of confidence. I feel they know what they’re doing and I can rely on them to get me into the position I need to have a chance of winning.”




SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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