Tom Pidcock primed: Ineos Grenadiers leader ready for ‘shock’ of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Fresh off a sixth place finish at the Volta ao Algarve Pidcock begins his Classics campaign

Clock16:30, Friday 23rd February 2024
Pidcock will continue his early season this weekend at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

© Dario Belingheri / Via Getty Images

Pidcock will continue his early season this weekend at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) will lead the line for Ineos Grenadiers in Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with the all-rounder set to compete for the win against the likes of Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike), Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin - Deceuninck).

The British rider was at the recent Volta ao Algarve fine-tuning his Classic form and came away from the five-day race with two top-ten finishes in the uphill stages and sixth overall behind GC winner Remco Evenepoel.

Pidcock was fifth in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last year but has bigger objectives this spring with the defence of his Strade Bianche title on the horizon before a concerted effort in the Ardennes Classics in April.

That said, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad still represents a WorldTour test for the 24-year-old and he’s motivated to put in a respectable performance.

“I know this race is always a tough one. These races demand very different things than other road races and the first one is always a shock. But for sure I’m in a good place, I’m strong and fit, and looking forward to taking that into Saturday,” Pidcock said on the eve of the race.

“Recons don’t add much. It’s not like I memorise every cobblestone but it’s nice to familiarise myself with the route and flow. It can be like a TT in that way, knowing what is coming is so valuable in these races and you don’t need to depend on the DS in your ear all the time.”

Pidcock will be supported by an experienced squad that linked Classics stalwart Luke Rowe, Connor Swift and Ben Turner.

A semi-resident in Belgium, Pidcock is well used to training and racing in the country. He’s looking forward to the noise of the local crowds on Saturday, even if the weather isn’t the most appealing at this time of year.

“Belgium has become a second home for me over the years. I always feel a warm welcome and I get a lot of support from the fans which is nice, and makes up for the weather!”

For all the latest racing news and updates ahead of opening weekend make sure to head over to the dedicated racing section of the GCN website.

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