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Tour de France

Tom Pidcock keeps pushing potential in Tour de France debut

Pidcock turns attention to bottle carrying and stage hunting after blazing opening TT: 'I'm not here for GC but to learn and gain experience.'

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Tom Pidcock dazzled on debut at the Tour de France on Friday.

Ineos Grendiers’ all-action ace flew to 15th in the wet and wild Copenhagen time trial to open his first Tour in style.

“I’m quite pleased with that actually,” Pidcock told reporters as he cooled down on the trainer after his effort.

“I didn’t have the ideal preparation with getting COVID at the end of Suisse, but I’m happy with that. I’ve not spent much time on my TT or my position or anything other than probably half an hour on my saddle position because my knee was hurting.”

Some start to a first Tour.

Pidcock makes for the wildcard joker in Ineos Grenadiers’ GC-focused Tour de France team this year.

The 22-year-old is free to roam when not carrying bottles for team captains Geraint Thomas, Daniel Martínez and Adam Yates as he continues to explore how far his wide-ranging skillset can stretch.

“It’s a real positive start. I went through all the processes and everything,” Pidcock said Friday. “I’m not here for GC but am here to learn and gain experience and I think I did that today.”

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Coming home fastest of the Ineos eight in Copenhagen despite being underprepared sees Pidcock continue to blaze a trail through his bombastic young career.

The Tour’s hotly-anticipated cobblestone stage Wednesday and kicking finishes in Longwy and Lausanne in the days afterward could see the classics, ‘cross and MTB star hit the stage-winner’s podium he narrowly missed at the Vuelta a España last summer.

“I’m here to take opportunities where I can, when it’s not detrimental to our GC ambitions,” Pidcock said.

“The team and I have got to find out what my role is still. I’m not exactly experienced in supporting [others], I’ve got a lot to learn in that respect. I think I can just find my place in what I can do to support them, and let’s see if I can take any opportunities.”

Pidcock knows that bottle-carrying could become priority number one as the Sky/Ineos setup looks to recapture its Tour de France crown this month.

But if a prologue-style TT is the ultimate test of form, Pidcock could be adding some silverware of his own to the family cabinet sometime soon.

“My dad sent me a message saying he’s proud I’m riding the Tour de France,” he said. “Even the fact that I’m riding, he’s proud of. I never really get that [from him] – only if I do well.

“It’s a massive thing isn’t it, it’s the biggest event in cycling – I’m just going to enjoy it.”

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.