World Cycling has proven that they no longer subscribe to this idea, with young stars like Tadej Pogacar emerging and becoming household names, this is a young mans sports. Mathieu Van Der Poel and Wout Van Aert can also attest to this and have laid out their cases for cycling dominance going into the future. With these riders though, there is name that keeps coming up, although still at a whisper, that name is Tom Pidcock. The true all rounder began his road racing career this year, however the focus was always in the back of his mind, the Olympics.
Stars in the world of sports are getting younger. Many of the latest and greatest in world sports are in their early 20s, which in times gone by was unheard of. The rule has always been, for the most part anyway, you hit your peak in your mid to late 20s. No some sports do not subscribe to this, such as Gymnastics and some it seems the older a person, the better they are too, but in the majority, we expect stars around 27 years old.
Sitting on row 4 on the start line, his name not among the favourites and facing the kings of Mountain Biking in the Swiss pair Nino Schurter and Mathias Flueckiger. As well as the aforementioned darling of World Cycling Mathieu Van Der Poel, Pidcock was not even in the list of outsiders, especially for the casual fan. Your more seasoned fans on Pro Cycling absolutely know of the potential of Tom Pidcock, however not many knew just how ready he was to announce himself of the biggest possible stage, the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
No Pressure Pidcock
The Olympic Mountain Bike race started as per usual, with pilot error on the first lap sending Mathieu Van Der Poel crashing to the ground and eventually causing him to not finish at all. Following Lap 4, not only was Pidcock in the lead, but the commentary team was beginning to believe in the young Brit. As he started to distance even his fiercest rivals, it became a race against only himself for the Olympic title.
He had said previously that he was hear for Gold, but with such a stacked field no one truly believed him. Well, he delivered, in style and in a display of dominance, he looked the best man on the course all day. He is one of the few that are considered the next big thing in Pro Cycling and he showed on the almost mountainous course in Japan, on his day he can beat anyone.
Entering next season with the powerhouse that is Team Ineos Grenadiers, look for him to be a focal point. He will chase the classics and the monuments and no one can tell me he will not be among the favourites. In Paris in 2024 he has already said he will likely focus on the Road Race and the Time Trial, and with what he showed in Tokyo, underestimate him at your peril.
Could he win a Grand Tour? Yes, A Classic? Absolutely, A Monument? For Sure. Tom Pidcock is limited by one thing in his quest for glory… Himself.
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