Tom Pidcock out to punch above his weight as he pedals towards the top

LEEDS cyclist Tom Pidcock is hoping to change the shape of the sport.

OPTIONS: Tom Pidcock, left, pictured at last year's Ilkley Races.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
OPTIONS: Tom Pidcock, left, pictured at last year's Ilkley Races. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The 18-year-old is a prodigious talent, having won junior world titles in cyclo-cross and road time-trial disciplines.

He often takes the top step on the podium, but usually his rivals in second and third place appear to dwarf him.

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Pidcock is listed as 50kg and 5ft 2in tall on his cyclo-cross team’s website, but that does not deter him from his ambition.

“I want to win the elite Paris-Roubaix,” said the top prospect.

“Heavy riders are riders who win that race. I’m not sure that will be me, but that’s still my goal.

“Nothing’s impossible. If big riders generally win, then I could be the first small rider.”

Pidcock won the junior version of the ‘Hell of the North’, across the cobbles of the battlefields of northern France, in 2016.

Tom Pidcock: Setting targets.

He says he prefers one-day races to the stage races, like the Tour de France, and there is time before his career path is determined.

Pidcock was the rider Sir Bradley Wiggins was referring to when he recently cautioned young riders against joining Team Sky.

Wiggins suggested his tongue was firmly in cheek when he said “they’ll ruin you”, but the 2012 Tour champion and five-time Olympic gold medallist has been embroiled in scandal of late.

Team Sky and Wiggins deny wrongdoing over the therapeutic use exemptions received for an otherwise-banned substance.

Tom Pidcock: Setting targets.

Pidcock was reluctant to talk about Wiggins, despite now riding for his eponymous team, as he has yet to have an opportunity to have much of a conversation with him himself.

Pidcock appears destined to make the move to the elite road racing scene, although the Leeds rider’s major target for 2018 may now be beyond him after Team Wiggins was not invited to the Tour de Yorkshire. Pidcock may yet be selected in a Great Britain team.

He knows from the experience of Adam and Simon Yates that it will be possible to make it to the WorldTour, whether he is in the British system (he is not currently) or not.

Simon Yates came through British Cycling’s Olympic academy, while Adam did not.

“One took the GB path and one took the ‘do it yourself’ path. They showed it’s possible to do it both ways,” added Pidcock.

“It doesn’t matter which path you take. If you’re good enough you’ll make it,” he continued at Wembley Park, which is host to the OVO Energy Tour Series on Tuesday, May 29.

Doncaster’s Tom Stewart heads to next month’s Commonwealth Games in confident mood after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de Normandie since Paul Curran in 1985.

Stewart, of the JLT Condor team, finished one second ahead of Alexander Kreiger (Leopard Trek Pro Cycling).

He took the race lead after getting into a seven-man breakaway and finishing third on the stage, a minute clear of the chasing pack. Stewart and his team-mates successfully defended the jersey over the final two stages.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to bits to win,” he said. “It is one of the most chaotic, dangerous, stressful, and difficult races to ride.

“I don’t know how we’ve done it. We’ve pulled off something really special. It makes me so proud to part of the team.”

Stewart is expected to ride for JLT Condor in May’s Tour de Yorkshire.