Given his pedigree in cyclo-cross, cross-country mountain biking and road racing, Tom Pidcock doesn't get much of an off-season. So, we jumped at the opportunity to spend a day with the 22-year-old at his home in Andorra for a centrepiece interview in our latest issue.
The Yorkshireman was engaging company, modelling Ineos Grenadiers' striking 2022 kit and answering readers' questions. You posed a quirky and varied mix: everything from Metallica mentions to whether he'll pop a Superman celebration next year. Here's a sneak peek at some of his most interesting answers.
1. He’s planning on running a timed 5,000 metres at Nike’s facility in Oregon in February 2022
While debunking the myth of his 13-minute 5k that had athletics Twitter in meltdown in early 2021, he revealed that Nike want him to put on trainers and race the clock after the cyclo-cross world championships, which takes place in Arkansas (January 29-30). “I don’t want to get over 15 minutes. It’s pointless, innit?” he said, tongue in cheek.
2. He knows he can’t mix cycling disciplines forever
The 22-year-old is confident he can win a Grand Tour in the next five years but is aware he’ll have to briefly give up the mud and singletrack: “If I ever did want to fully focus on Grand Tours, then I wouldn’t be able to do other disciplines in that year – it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t go back to them. But, at least until Paris 2024 [I’ll be mixing them]."
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3. He had a special present for the surgeon who fixed his collarbone
Pidcock broke his collarbone in early June 2021, less than two months before the Olympic Games. However, his surgeon’s sterling work meant disaster was averted; he was back on the bike within six days. After taking gold in Tokyo, Pidcock arranged for a signed, framed jersey to go to his medical quick fixer.
4. He’s never had a hangover
This is a claim Peter Sagan once made to Rouleur too. Not a big drinker, Pidcock says he’s only had alcohol four times in his life.
5. He didn’t know who Sven Nijs was
Strange, and sacrilegious, for this king of the cyclo-cross scene, but true: “The first year I started going away to Belgium and did a few races, I didn’t actually know who anyone was in ‘cross. I didn’t really follow the sport at all. Then at the Worlds [that year], I only just learned who Sven Nijs was.”
6. Red Bull Rampage and downhill races: why not?
Asked whether he’s planning to ride Red Bull Rampage, he replied: “Well, I want to ride a downhill World Cup first. Rampage, I need to go and see because obviously everything looks smaller on TV than it does in real life. So, I don’t know: it’s on my bucket list to ride it but I dunno if I ever will – the older you get, the less stupid stuff you generally do.” Ineos Grenadiers might have something to say about it if he crocks himself freeriding in Utah too.
7. He can ride a unicycle
Road, mountain bike, cyclo-cross, running – and even riding on one wheel. Pidcock is a true Renaissance man. “I used to ride them with my friends at school, going out riding in the woods and stuff," he says. Not recently, but it’s like riding a bike: you don’t forget once you know how to do it. I probably won’t be able to do 360s anymore though.”The new issue of Rouleur, dedicated to Interviews, goes on sale on December 16, featuring Pidcock, Anna van der Breggen, Mads Pedersen, Lizzie Deignan and many others. Subscribe to Rouleur UK in print and receive free access to the digital edition.