With an impressive number of victories already, Tom Pidcock is taking the world of bike racing by storm.
It’s hard to watch almost any men’s cycling event these days without hearing the name Tom Pidcock. Encapsulating the future for both British cycling and Ineos Grenadiers, he’s already among the top 5 best-paid cyclists in the world.
But how did he burst onto the scene all of a sudden? And why is he so highly regarded so early in his career?
Don’t worry, we’re here to give you everything you need to know about Tom Pidcock, his career achievements so far, and what we might expect from him in the future.
We’ll be covering:
- Profile Of A Cycling Prodigy
- Tom Pidcock’s Cyclocross Career
- Tom Pidcock’s Road Cycling Career
- Tom Pidcock’s Mountain Biking Career
- The Future Of A Rising Star
Ready for the lowdown on the rising star of British cycling?
Let’s get going!
Profile of a cycling prodigy
At the age of just 23, Tom Pidcock has achieved enormous success.
The swiss army knife of cyclists – he races professionally in nearly every possible type of cycling. A cyclocross world champion, Tour de France stage winner, Olympic gold medalist in cross-country MTB, and even MBE recipient, he is the epitome of a jack of all trades.
He is relatively small in stature, 5ft 7 and only 58kg, but he packs a massive punch. His physique is similar to that of a specialist climber and he has proved this ability, winning the prestigious Alpe D’Huez stage of the 2022 Tour de France, and the mountain classification in the 2020 under-23 Giro d’Italia.
Although he excels at climbing, his riding style is actually a puncheur – best suited to rolling hills and short, sharp climbs and flats, a style shared by other cyclocross world champions such as Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel. This is clearly a benefit in cyclocross given the rough terrain and difficult obstacles.
In his junior and U-23 road career, however, he has won not only mountain classifications but time trials, points classifications, and even general classifications. He could be considered more of an all-rounder, like Chris Froome or Tadej Pogačar. The diversity of his wins could even point toward a future Grand Tour winner.
Ineos grenadiers clearly believe so, since they recently made him one of the top 5 best-paid cyclists in the world. After signing for Ineos in 2020, he signed a 5-year deal this year taking him to 2027. The value of this deal has not been officially disclosed, but it’s been reported that his yearly salary is around 4 million euros!
All of this adds up to a rising star in the world of cycling – he has the faith of his team behind him and an almost uncountable number of achievements both junior and professional, at the age of just 23.
Tom Pidcock’s Cyclocross Career
Cyclocross is arguably Tom Pidcock’s main specialism at this point in his career.
Although he’s always raced in road and mountain bike, he seemed to gain most of his junior and under-23 victories in cyclocross, and consistently races in the sport’s biggest events every year.
He began his junior career in cyclocross in the 2015-16 season, and just 1 year later he won the junior British National Championships, the UEC Junior European Championships, and even the UCI Junior World Championships.
Beginning his under-23 career in 2017-18, Pidcock got off to a flying start by winning the U-23 UCI World Cup, the British National Championships, and a number of other smaller accolades, all at the age of 18. He continued this excellence winning the under-23 UCI World Cup, the UCI World Championships, and the UEC European Championships in 2018-19.
At this point, he was indisputably the world’s best cyclocross rider under the age of 23, and he was just 19. This can put a lot of pressure on somebody so young, but clearly, Pidcock thrives under pressure, already living up to his potential in the senior sport.
His first senior win was the British National Championships at the age of 19. He won this again the following year alongside finishing 2nd in the UCI World Championships.
The beginning of true success on the world stage began this year, however, becoming a world champion in cyclocross by winning the 2022 UCI World Championships. He stole the hearts of the spectators, showing off not only his excellence in the sport but also his personality with a ‘superman’ celebration after crossing the line in 1st place.
We’re now looking at arguably the world’s best cyclocross rider. He is just 23, and beat seasoned and experienced riders to victory on the grandest stage. If Pidcock chooses to continue to focus on cyclocross, he’ll likely win many more to come in the next few years.
Tom Pidcock’s Road Cycling Career
Another form of biking in which Tom Pidcock excels, road cycling is a field in which many cyclocross champions have placed much of their focus, and achieved a lot of success at that. Wout van Aert, 3-time UCI Cyclocross World Championship winner, recently won the Green Jersey at the 2022 Tour de France, winning 3 stages in the process.
Pidcock has won an incredibly diverse range of junior and under-23 races. He became a junior Time-Trial World Champion in 2017, as well as winning the General Classification (GC) at the junior Tour of Wales and the Paris-Roubaix Juniors.
His success in the junior category continued into under-23s, winning the 2019 u-23 Paris-Roubaix. The most impressive under-23 race Pidcock won was arguably the u-23 Giro d’Italia in 2020, at which he won both the GC and the Mountain Classification.
Pidcock signed for Ineos Grenadiers less than three weeks after the u-23 Giro. The dominance he showed in the race likely played a large role in Ineos’ decision to sign him. The decision paid off, as he enjoyed an excellent first season in the spring classics, winning the historic Brabantse Pijl and taking the podium in another three races.
His first Grand Tour, however, proved to be a bit of a disappointment relative to his growing stature on the road. At the 2021 Vuelta a España, Pidcock failed to impress in the opening time-trial stage, finishing 74th, on a day Pidcock later described as “horrible”. He ended the Vuelta 67th overall, which was not reflective of his quality or expectations.
He began to live up to such high expectations this year. In his maiden Tour de France, he finished 17th overall, picking up one of the most prestigious stage wins in the process.
After bringing himself into contention with a stunning 100 km/h descent of the Col du Galibier early in the stage, Pidcock pioneered an epic break 10 km from the finish.
Scaling the 21 hairpins of the legendary Alpe D’Huez with incredible efficiency, Pidcock claimed a victory for the ages on arguably the most iconic mountain of the Tour de France alongside the Tourmalet, writing his name in the history books – all in what was his first ever Grand Tour stage win.
It remains to be seen the full success of Tom Pidcock in road cycling. His diverse successes in his junior career and recent triumph at Le Tour point toward a potential Grand Tour winner.
Whatever happens in his road cycling career, watching such a young talent showcase his abilities is incredibly exciting, and he will be remembered for the achievements he has earned already!
Tom Pidcock’s Mountain Biking Career
Tom Pidcock recently decided to forego the Vuelta a España 2022 in order to compete in the European cross-country mountain biking season. Some may question this decision given the prestige of road cycling Grand Tours. However, this is yet another field in which Tom Pidcock dominates, and adds to his incredible versatility in cycling.
Relative to other cycling disciplines, Pidcock was something of a latecomer to mountain biking. His first under-23 victory was the 2019 XCO National Championships for Britain – an excellent introduction to the world of MTB.
In 2020 he stepped it up a notch, winning both the UCI World Championships and the UCI World Cup for the under-23s. In addition to his domination in the under-23s world, he took his first senior victory, beating far more senior riders to the punch in the UCI Electric Mountain Bike World Championships.
Perhaps his greatest career success, in any discipline, came for Pidcock in 2021. In emphatic style, he took Olympic gold in Tokyo in Cross-Country Mountain Biking. He overtook the 8-time world champion, Nino Schurter, on the third lap, and held onto his lead to the end, handling the steep climbs of the Izu course with ease.
Clutching his gold medal, he said to a reporter, “It’s nothing like any other race. The Olympics just transcends any sport.” Not only was this a great personal achievement for Tom, but it gained him great publicity, bursting onto UK screens on the news, who revered him as a hero for taking gold for Team GB at just 21 years of age.
Furthermore, he recently proved why he chose to sacrifice his place in the Ineos team for the Vuelta, taking yet another gold medal in cross-country MTB, this time in the second edition of the multi-sport European Championships.
His incredibly decorated mountain biking career is almost unprecedented at such a young age.
The Future of a rising star
It’s very difficult to decide in which discipline Tom Pidcock specializes, but we can all agree on one thing: he shows great promise as an all-round cyclist. The esteem he already enjoys in Ineos, exemplified by him being chosen as the team member to take a shot at the Alpe D’Huez stage, is a great show of faith for such a young cyclist.
Granted, he’s only slightly younger than 2-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar, but he also competes across many more disciplines. He enters almost every possible race in MTB, road cycling, and cyclocross, a remarkably busy schedule for a cyclist. Not only that, but he shows up and performs consistently impressively.
Who knows what the future holds for this multi-talented young rider, but it seems likely that he will continue to take many more impressive wins in the years to come. In a golden era for British cycling, yet another rider is rising to the top, and we may be looking at a future Grand Tour winner in road cycling.
But it’s certainly not all about the Tour, especially for Pidcock, and he is already a world champion in MTB and Cyclocross and shows no signs of slowing. It seems impossible that he will not continue to contend at the very top of both of these disciplines.
We’re certain that we will continue to see incredible things from perhaps the most exciting young rider in modern cycling. We’re sure that everyone is looking forward to seeing him at the lofty heights of his growing potential!