After an impressive climbing performance on the Puy de Dôme, Tom Pidcock has set his sights on a top-five placing in the overall standings at the Tour de France, and hopes to win a stage.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider looked assured on Sunday’s ninth stage as he kept pace with his rivals on the final climb – a steeply-pitched volcano. As a result, he rose two places in the GC and now sits in seventh, 47 seconds adrift of Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) in fifth.
“It’s nice to be at the front of the race,” Pidcock told
Cycling Weekly and outside his team bus after the stage. “Each day I’m getting stronger and more confident.” Cyclingnews
The Brit made his Tour de France debut last year, winning the Queen stage atop Alpe d’Huez with a solo attack. He ended up finishing 16th at the race, and second to Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in the best young rider classification.
“I’ve never really been in the GC, racing the GC before in a Grand Tour, or any stage race for that matter. It’s all new and I’m learning every day,” he said. “I seem to be getting better with each GC day. Long may that continue.”
“If I can try and fight for a top five on GC, then that motivates me,” he added.
Alongside his ambitions in the overall standings, the 23-year-old also outlined his hope for an individual victory at the race. “I want to win a stage,” he said. “I want to get my hands in the air. That’s what motivates me, but we’ll see.”
(Image credit: Getty)
Pidcock is not the only Ineos Grenadiers rider currently in the top 10 at the Tour. 22-year-old Spaniard Carlos Rodríguez entered Monday’s rest day in fourth, having stretched out the gap to Yates by a handful of seconds on the Puy de Dôme.
“I’m happy to be at the front, in the action,” Rodríguez said. “It was an objective of mine to try and do the best possible, and see where I could get. At the moment, it’s all going well, so I’m happy and I hope the second week goes well, too.”
The team’s deputy principal, Rod Ellingworth, has been impressed by the level of the young duo. “I think our guys are doing exactly what was asked of them, which is just to keep that same rhythm, keep that same tempo,” he told
Cycling Weekly. “And they’re doing a really good job. They’re exactly on target in that sense.”
Although no GC expectations have been laid out, Ellingworth believes top-five finishes are “doable” for the pair.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t put a placing on it,” he said. “We just talked about consistency through the race, so that’s the main thing. I think it’s doable, isn’t it? I think for both [Pidcock] and Carlos. They’re capable. You see all these lads, as they grow, they always have an off day somewhere, so it’s about trying to minimise having an off day.
“I’m fairly confident that they’ll keep that same level,” Ellingworth added.