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‘Let's whack it’ – Tom Pidcock on front and goes early in Tirreno-Adriatico sprint

Julian Alaphilppe jokingly thanked Tom Pidcock for leading out the Tirreno-Adriatico sprint in Giulianova, but the Yorkshireman was in no mood for wisecracks or a laugh after missing out on victory for stage 4.

Pidcock’s many talents mean he is targeting the overall classification at Tirreno-Adriatico, preparing for Milan-San Remo and the Ardennes Classics. But he always wants to win if he has a chance.

Pidcock was sat on Biniam Girmay’s Intermarché-Wanty lead-out man but when he faded and Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Mobility) was still out front in the final kilometre, then the Ineos Grenadiers rider decided to go for it. A pack of sprinters surged past Pidcock at the end, leaving the Briton 15 positions behind stage winner Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek).

“I was stuck on the front, so I thought: ‘Why not? Let’s whack it!’” Pidcock told Cycling News beyond the finish line in Giulianova.  

“I’d have needed a pretty special day to win on that kind of finish but you have to give it a go. At least we got stuck in, we executed it well, so we can be happy about that. This is what we want – to race. We’re here to try to win every race we go to.”  

Pidcock was angry with himself for not trying a late attack on the rising stage 3 on Wednesday and didn’t want the same regrets on Thursday.  

“I’m in good shape and need to race,” he explained to Cycling News and Nieuwsblad before the stage.

“On Wednesday I felt really good and should have attacked but I didn’t move up and then regretted not doing anything else. Eighth was pointless.”    

While the sprinters will look for the gruppetto during the next two mountain stages in Italy’s central Apennines, Pidcock will race on, convinced he can do well in the general classification.

He lost 33 seconds to Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) in the opening time trial but is only 15 seconds down on Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike), who is expected to attack on Friday’s 144km stage to Valle Castellana and later on Saturday’s mountain finish on Monte Petrano.

“They’re super hard stages but I’m looking forward to seeing where I end up in GC,” Pidcock said. “The next few days are going to be pretty hard but I’ve definitely got good shape, I know that.”  

Pidcock is a rare cycling talent. He has proven Classics ability but can also ‘ride GC’ in stage races and is a potential Grand Tour rider for the years to come.

His multiple talents can be contrasting but he doesn’t want it any other way.

“Look how Strade Bianche went, it was actually a very GC rider style of race. It’s full gas all day and very attritional, as modern racing is going,” he suggested.  

Of course, it is difficult when you have guys like Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) or others like him. They take control of the race and strangle it.

“You need to be brave to do anything else other than wait and let them do it. We’ve got to not be afraid of failing.”

Pidcock will adopt the same racing philosophy in the summer and perhaps in the Classics. He will ride the Tour de France to test his GC skills before defending his mountain bike gold medal in Paris. He may even ride the road race as well.

He likes a challenge.

“The mountain bike race at the Paris Olympics is still a big goal of the year,” he confirmed despite reservations on the course. “Is it possible? Probably yes, is it ideal? Probably not.”

Pidcock opted to focus on the Ardennes Classics this spring but he now appears tempted to ride some of the cobbled Classics in another combination of talent and ambition.  

Pidcock is scheduled to ride Itzulia Basque Country, which starts on Monday, April 1, to prepare for the Ardennes Classics. However, asked what he planned to do on Sunday, March 31, the day of the Tour of Flanders, Pidcock said: “Maybe racing”.

We shouldn’t be surprised to see Pidcock target the Tour of Flanders.  

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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