According to Kurt Bogaerts, Tom Pidcock’s personal coach, the British former world champion will not be participating in this winter’s cyclocross World Championships. This information was reported by the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws following a conversation with Bogaerts. Instead, Pidcock plans to take on a brief cyclocross season primarily during the Christmas period.
Bogaerts revealed to the newspaper that a definitive winter programme for Pidcock has not yet been set in stone, but it would be highly condensed, emphasising races around the year’s end. Pidcock is expected to commence his cyclocross season after mid-December and conclude it quite early in 2024 to shift his focus on road racing in the spring.
The coach elaborated that Pidcock would compete in several races during the hectic end-of-year schedule but would not continue for long thereafter, drawing a comparison to the previous season. As for the World Championships, Bogaerts expressed doubt about Pidcock’s participation.
Comparisons with Rival Cyclovross Competitors
Pidcock’s decision to not contend in the World Championships in Tábor, Czech Republic mirrors the plan of Wout van Aert, the Belgian lead rider for Jumbo-Visma, who likewise opted for a succinct cyclocross schedule excluding the world championship. In contrast, Mathieu van der Poel has elected to participate in the Championships.
Later in the year 2024, Pidcock has set his sights on other significant goals: the Tour de France and the Olympic Games, where he aims to compete in both road cycling and mountain biking. Bogaerts stressed that though cyclocross is considered an ‘extra’ by Pidcock, it has proven to have substantial value, as evidenced by his triumphs in the Ronde van de Algarve’s queen stage and the Strade Bianche earlier this year. The coach asserted Pidcock’s enthusiasm for cyclocross while highlighting the importance of balancing his condition to avoid burnout throughout the season. He mentioned that Pidcock has managed to avoid any major slumps in performance so far.
Readers and cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to tune into the WielerFlits Podcast to hear more about Tom Pidcock’s return to cycling. The podcast is available on platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, and through an RSS feed, with discussions starting from 29:05 minutes in.