Pidcock: Hopes to compete in mountain biking immediately after 2024 Paris Olympics

Tom Pidcock has unveiled a daunting double-header for 2024, encompassing both the Tour de France and the Olympics. The versatile athlete will have a mere eight days to transition from road to mountain biking, where he aims to defend his cross-country Olympic gold medal from Tokyo 2021. Pidcock divulged his ambitious plans on the Red Bull podcast "Just Ride".

In addition to the MTB race at the Olympics, the 24-year-old is also aiming to compete in the road race in Paris, which takes place five days after the mountain bike event.

"Next year I want to defend my title at the Olympics, but I also need as many points as possible," explained the world and European champion in reference to the MTB rankings that decide Olympic qualification and starting order. He has already secured his place in Paris with his World Championship title in August, but his ranking will decide his starting place - which caused some discussion at this World Championships.

Still, Pidcock stressed the importance of the Tour de France, where he triumphed in Alpe d'Huez in 2022 and finished 13th overall in 2023. "But I also have to balance that with the team, and they need me or want me in the Tour, so I have to be in the Tour and do my best," he said, then announced, "It's going to be on the limit, it's not going to be easy, but I'm giving myself the best chance."

Pidcock has already planned his program through to the Olympics. He competed in the last MTB World Cup races in North America to earn enough points to skip the first events of the 2024 season and focus on road preparation.

Pidcock: Hopes to compete in mountain biking immediately after 2024 Paris Olympics

VAN DER POEL FORGES SIMILAR PLAN

"These races at the end of the season mean I can prepare better for next year because I don't have to go to the mountain bike races in the spring. This gives me a longer preparation time for the Tour, which in turn will hopefully mean I come out of the Tour in better shape and more easily able to cope with being ready on a mountain bike in eight days," explained the Leeds-born Ineos rider.

Mathieu van der Poel of Team Alpecin-Deceuninck harbors similar aspirations, aiming to conquer the Tour de France and subsequently pursue mountain bike gold in Paris. However, whispers from the Dutchman's inner circle suggest that he may opt for an early exit from the Tour in order to prioritize the mountain bike race.

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