Tom Pidcock aiming for Ardennes rather than Flanders in 2024

Tom Pidcock Alpe d'Huez Tour de France 2022

Tom Pidcock, the burgeoning classics star of Ineos Grenadiers, is reportedly considering a shift in his racing focus for the 2024 season, potentially stepping away from the cobbled Classics to concentrate on the Ardennes Classics, mountain bike racing, the Tour de France, and the Paris Olympics.

Pidcock’s coach, Kurt Bogaerts, shared insights with Het Nieuwsblad about the British rider’s ambitions for 2024. While nothing is set in stone yet, Bogaerts hinted that Pidcock is leaning towards targeting the Ardennes classics. “The intention is to head in the direction of the Ardennes classics with Tom,” Bogaerts stated, acknowledging that this plan is not 100% confirmed.

Despite winning Strade Bianche and demonstrating his prowess on Tuscan gravel, Pidcock’s participation in the 2024 edition remains uncertain. His focus may shift towards WorldTour stage racing, with Paris-Nice flagged as a key objective.

Ineos Grenadiers will finalize Pidcock’s spring racing program at their December training camp. Bogaerts elaborated on the need to balance Pidcock’s racing schedule, emphasizing that participation in all Flemish races limits opportunities in other events. He suggested that a stage race like Paris-Nice could be a priority if Pidcock scales back his program.

Pidcock has shown promise in classics like Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but his performances in the Ardennes have been more impressive. Notably, he secured second place at both the Amstel Gold Race and this year’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège, marking the best result by a British rider in the latter since 1988.

Although Pidcock couldn’t quite match the pace of Remco Evenepoel or Tadej Pogačar in the Ardennes this year, Bogaerts remains confident in his potential. He believes that with a season free from injury or illness, Pidcock can compete with the likes of Evenepoel and Pogačar. “I don’t see any reason why he can’t compete with Pogačar and Evenepoel. We’ve not seen the best version of Tom on the road yet,” Bogaerts told GCN.

Bogaerts concluded that Pidcock, with a clear run and no disruptions, is fully capable of battling these top competitors.