© UCI Mountain Bike World Series
Tom Pidcock won the final round of the XCO World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada
Tom Pidcock to race Tour de France and Paris Olympics mountain bike in 2024
British super talent will have just eight days between the end of the Tour and the XCO event in Paris
Racing News Editor
Speaking to Red Bull’s Just Ride podcast, MTB world champion Pidcock confirmed his hopes to ride both events next summer, despite just eight days separating the final stage of the Tour and the XCO race in Paris.
He also hopes to ride the Olympics road race, which takes place just another five days after the mountain biking.
Pidcock is the defending Olympic champion in XCO mountain biking after winning the race in Tokyo in 2021, but is opting to mix his title defence aims with another assault on the Tour de France, having taken a memorable win atop Alpe d’Huez in 2022.
“Next year, I want to go and defend my title at the Olympics, but I also need as many points as I can get,” he said, referring to the MTB ranking points that determine Olympics qualification and start order. His world title in August has already secured his spot in Paris, but his ranking will decide how good his start position is.
“But also I’ve got to balance that with the team, and they need me or want me at the Tour, so I have to be there and at my best at the Tour, and I have eight days between the end of the Tour and the Olympics.
“It’s going to be on the limit, it’s not going to be easy, but I’m giving myself the best chance.”
Despite being several months away still, Pidcock has carefully planned his approach to the Olympics, going and racing the final World Cups in North America to try to gain enough points to allow him to skip the early rounds of the 2024 season and focus on road preparation.
“Doing these races now at the end of this year sets me up better for next year, because it means that I don’t have to go to the mountain bike races in the spring, which means I’ll have a longer prep for the Tour, which means hopefully I should come out of the Tour in a better condition and cope with it better, meaning that in eight days I can be ready.”
Double Olympic ambitions, but MTB course disappoints
He also confirmed that he plans to race the road race in Paris, taking place just a few days after the mountain biking, which would be his first time racing road at the Olympics, but this is dependent on making the Team GB selection.
Pidcock won’t be the only rider possibly racing the Tour de France and the Olympics MTB concurrently, with Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) also plotting a ride in both, though sources around the Dutchman have suggested he would cut his Tour short in favour of the mountain biking.
Both riders were in action at the recent Olympics test event in Paris, won by Victory Koretzky, though Pidcock gave a harsh critique of the Elancourt Hill course.
“I wasn’t that impressed to be honest,” he said. “They’ve just gravelled over a hill. It’s big gravel, slippy - they could have made a more exciting track, because there is a hill there, and they could have made some nice natural features, but I think they’re scared it’s going to rain.”
Balancing road and off-road
Though he is the world champion and is hoping to become a two-time Olympic champion, Pidcock reaffirmed that the priority remained road racing, and that that - and the interests of Ineos Grenadiers - were key.
“I’m a road rider, but I’m better at cross and mountain biking,” he joked.
“I ride for a road team, so the priority for them - and also me, to be honest - is the road,” he said. “With mountain biking, for example in the spring when I do the World Cups in April, it’s just nice to get away from the road for a bit. Mountain bike is just a bit more of a relaxed atmosphere. It’s where I can go and just enjoy riding.”
Whilst riding the Paris Olympics XCO race straight off the back of the Tour de France may not be the most enjoyable experience on the bike, Pidcock will be hoping the work pays off with another gold medal next summer.
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