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Tom Pidcock is ‘super class… he can be in the mix for a Grand Tour’ – Alberto Contador exclusive

Alberto Contador has suggested Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) will have to “make a decision” after this season: give everything to win a Grand Tour or remain a multi-discipline star.

Pidcock added Strade Bianche to his impressive palmarès earlier in March after a spectacular solo charge from 50km. He also won Olympic mountain bike gold, the cyclo-cross world title and triumphed on Alpe d’Huez at the Tour de France during an incredible 12-month spell across 2021 and 2022.
He has talked up his dream to compete for the yellow jersey at the Tour in future, but Contador echoed Adam Blythe’s views that the British sensation would likely have to sacrifice his multi-sport ambitions to achieve it.

“If Tom Pidcock wants to prepare 100% for a Grand Tour, I do think it would be a good idea to put cyclo-cross and mountain bike aside for a year or two,” seven-time Grand Tour champion Contador told Eurosport.

“I am saying this if he wants to be at a Grand Tour with more chances.”

He continued: “I think Pidcock can be in the mix for a Grand Tour. It’s true that we will have to see how he continues to develop.

“We haven’t seen him too much in Grand Tours yet. I think this year will be interesting to draw new conclusions.

“And I think based on that, he will have to make a decision. If you want to focus on a Grand Tour then you have to prepare a bit differently.”

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However, Contador stopped short of urging the 23-year-old to focus on cycling’s biggest stage races.

“Do I want him to or do I not want him to? I don’t mind,” the Spaniard continued.

“I think Pidcock is the type of rider that makes you more interested in mountain bike even if that is a discipline you haven’t done, or cyclo-cross because it’s enjoyable to watch him ride.

“It’s also really nice to see those battles he has with Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel. So I think that helps because it means there is really cycling during the whole year and with a lot of emotion.”

Pidcock has already tweaked his schedule this season, choosing to forego his cyclo-cross world title defence in favour of banking a solid training block ahead of the spring classics.

After his stunning win at Strade Bianche, the 23-year-old missed Milano-San Remo with mild concussion symptoms after crashing on the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, He is slated to return at Dwars door Vlaanderen next week, although Ineos could unleash him at Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday.

“He is super class. We are talking about a very young rider, a multi-discipline rider,” said Contador.

“You can give him a mountain bike, a cyclo-cross bike or a road bike. He can ride them all to perfection.

“He can adapt to one-hour races with maximum intensity. He adapts perfectly to long classics. He adapts perfectly to tours with many stages. He is super class. A rider with tremendous quality.

“Where can he get to in terms of Grand Tours? Time will tell, and a lot of it will be to do with the decisions he makes, as well as the decisions his team and people in his circle make… on what they want to focus on for the future.”

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