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Exclusive interview: Tom Pidcock turns pro with Telenet Fidea Lions

The current British National, European and World Cyclocross champion speaks to Cyclist about signing with Telenet Fidea Lions

Promising 17-year-old British cyclist Tom Pidcock has been signed by Belgian cyclocross team Telenet Fidea Lions for at least the next two cyclocross seasons. The squad, which is run by former champion Sven Nys, announced the signing after chasing the current National, European and World Junior Cyclocross Champion's signature for some time.

'It started at Zonhoven last year,' Pidcock said when we met near to his home in Leeds recently.

'All the teams were pretty keen to sign me, so I spent a long time deciding which one was best for me. In the end, Telenet was the best option.'

The fact that the team is managed by recently retired cyclocross superstar Nys was a big part of that decision, Pidcock says, as it means the team will be incentivised to get the best out of its newest rider.

'It's Sven Nys's team, isn't it, so the fact that I'm there and he wanted me to ride for them sort of means that he's got pressure on his shoulders to make me into a good rider,' he says with a small chuckle. 

Aside from his cyclocross successes, Pidcock's palmares also includes some noteable victories on the road, in particular the 2017 Junior Paris-Roubaix and a recent round of the Tour Series where he soloed away from the elite field.

However in an exclusive chat with Cyclist about this huge step in his fledgling career, the young Yorkshireman said it's cyclocross that he's most passionate about, so the move to a Belgian 'cross team always felt like the ideal move.

Although the official annoucement has now been made, Pidcock won't take the start line in Telenet colours until October when the new cyclocross season kicks off again.

'It'll be three weeks after the junior road worlds, at Polderscross or [Superprestige] Zonhoven,' Pidcock says.

Clearly excited about the season ahead, he added, 'It's going to be interesting to see how I go. It's under-23, but sometimes I'll be up against the elites because there's no under-23 race.

'It should be good.'

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