Tom Pidcock: ‘Racing Tadej Pogačar makes me a better rider’

The 23-year-old will lead Ineos Grenadiers at Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday.

Photo: BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Tom Pidcock may have twice been beaten by Tadej Pogačar in the last week, but the Ineos Grenadiers rider says he’s all the better for the experience.

Pidcock was one of just two riders, including EF Education-EasyPost’s Ben Healy, who was able to follow the Slovenian when he attacked at the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday. He would eventually pop and finish third with Pogačar soloing to the win.

Pogačar trounced the rest of the pack once again at Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday and he’s the five-star favorite for taking the win in Liège on Sunday.

Pidcock is hoping to get the better of the UAE Team Emirates rider at the weekend, but he admits it’s going to be a tough ask.

“He’s the best rider in the world right now, let’s not beat around the bush,” Pidcock said, according to the Press Association. “Each time we line up we try to figure out how we can beat him.

“I think as well, every time we race against him, he also makes me better. He is the standard that me, and everybody else, needs to beat at the moment.”

Also read:

Pidcock made his Liège-Bastogne-Liège debut last season, finishing well off the pace some 13:45 down on the winner Remco Evenepoel. He endured an up-and-down spring that was disrupted by illness earlier on and he had failed to finish Flèche Wallonne a few days earlier.

The Ineos Grenadiers rider comes into this weekend in far better form, despite suffering a concussion in March, though he said that he was missing “half a percent” as a result of the time he was forced to take off the bike.

Flèche Wallonne didn’t quite go to plan on Wednesday — he only managed 18th — but he believes that was a positioning error rather than an issue of form.

“We were at the back, we messed up our lead-in to the Mur,” Pidcock explained. “I did pretty decent numbers, but my effort finished with 400 meters to go. I think it bodes well. It’s a shame but I also feel like I can win Flèche in the future from that race even though it was not a good result.”

Ineos Grenadiers for Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Tom Pidcock
Laurens De Plus
Omar Fraile
Michal Kwiatkowski
Magnus Sheffield
Pavel Sivakov
Connor Swift

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.