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Tom Pidcock: 'I quite like being the favourite for the Worlds'

Jack Elton-Walters
24 Jan 2017

National and European Cyclocross Champion Tom Pidcock is a rising star who's happy with the attention

Shortly before he won yet another race in the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup, riding away from his rivals in Hoogerheide over the weekend, Tom Pidcock spoke to Cyclist about the attention of being favourite for the Worlds, balancing training with school, and what the future might look like for the talented young rider. 

Pidcock is the European Champion, National Champion and favourite to become Junior Cyclocross World Champion this weekend, making him the rising star on the cyclocross scene. 

The 17-year-old is also a member of the British Cycling Junior Academy and plans to continue racing on the road as well as in cyclocross.

All the accolades and attention that come with such a prolific junior career could be a lot to take in for some young riders. 

Asked how he feels about going into the Cyclocross World Championships as out-and-out favourite, Pidcock is pretty relaxed about it all: 'I quite like it really; it puts a lot of attention on me. As long I can just deal with all the pressure it’s quite good.' 

Alongside cycling, the Leeds-born rider is still at school but it's clear what's more important to him. 'Cycling takes priority... I’m only doing two subjects now, so I get quite a lot of time that I can go training.' 

Based on his school's social media, they're happy to support his chosen career. 

Throughout this season, Pidcock has won in the sand of Zonhoven, the mud of the National Championships and on most surfaces he's pointed his bike at. 

Looking to the World Championships, which take place in Luxembourg across the weekend of 28th and 29th January, Pidcock is reserved about whether the course plays to his strenghts. 

'Well, it looks quite technical in some places; there’s a lot of off-camber corners. It’ll be interesting to see how I'll go.' 

Beyond the World Championships the junior rider is keeping his options open but plans to stick with both road and cyclocross. 'I’m going to do both. There’s no point in stopping one thing that I love if I can do both.' 

Being in the British Cycling Junior Academy facilitates this for now, but sooner or later he'll need to think about turning professional, and finding a team that fits with his ambitions across disciplines.

'I think, both [road and cyclocross] options are open. The Academy’s said that I’ve got the opportunity to do ‘cross so after the Worlds I’ll be having a good think about what I want to do.'

Pushed as to who might have come knocking to try and sign him up, Pidcock is coy but says 'several' teams have shown an interest.

'They’re open [invites]. They’ve all said take my time just to find the best position for me, so I can make a good decision, and not rush into anything.' 

Those offers will surely only increase if he adds the junior world title to his palmares this weekend. 

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