Tom Pidcock out of hospital and into world title reckoning at Yorkshire 2019

Tom Pidcock says no matter where he finishes in today’s men’s Under-23s road race, knowing he has done his best will be success enough given where he was a month ago.

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READ MORE - Nick Westby’s report from the men’s time-trial

The 20-year-old from Leeds was in a hospital in France after crashing off in the final kilometres of a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir.

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The incident left him with leg injuries and his hopes of competing in the UCI Road World Championships in the balance.

Tom Pidcock of Great Britain celebrates winning the men's under-23 race at the 2019 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships(Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

But, despite not having ridden competitively since then – he is still suffering stiffness in his knee – he is sufficiently recovered to represent his country from Doncaster to Harrogate this afternoon.

“I woke up in hospital, I saw the clock, it was 5pm and I didn’t really know what was going on. I was high on drugs and painkillers,” said Pidcock, a winner of the junior men’s road race at the 2017 world championships in Bergen.

“But I could move and everything so I knew I wasn’t in the race anymore but I knew I could still get to the World Champs, whether I’d be in a position to be leading it or to be supporting other riders, I knew I’d be able to ride.

“I want to win. The podium would be good.

Tom Pidcock after winning the UCI 2017 Road World Championships individual junior time-trial (PIcture: Simon Wilkinson/SWPix.com)

“I’ve dreamt of coming second by two millimetres and then thought ‘would I be peed off or not?’ And I think as long as I did my best, I can’t complain.

“I’ve come from a bad situation and whatever I get will be a bonus.”

Home knowledge should help, even if a world championship on his own doorstep has taken a bit of getting used to.

“It feels a bit weird, to be honest,” said Pidcock, who identified Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen and Norway’s Tobias Foss as his chief competition.

“When I was at home before I came in, just 15 miles away, it felt almost as if it’s less of an event because it’s like a local race.

“But a World Championships at home is probably only going to happen once in my lifetime. That’s the biggest motivation you can have.”

“I haven’t really ridden the course much. I would have been doing that in the last couple of weeks, but I didn’t have that opportunity. I haven’t ridden the course as much as I’d like but I know where I’m going.

“The first part, not so much but its flat. That’s not where I’m going to be racing as such.

“Growing up and training in Yorkshire it makes riders into punchy riders and that’s exactly what you need to be to win a race in Yorkshire.

“The race got shortened the other day because maybe they didn’t realise that it gets dark at 7pm in September, but I think that means that the climb at Greenhow is going to be more significant.

“It’s going be windy as well the forecast is suggesting so I think it will be a reduced group at the finish, but I don’t know how reduced. Then possibly a break going and staying away because the finishing circuit is quite twisty. So it suits me quite well.”