Pidcock reveals passion, romance for Roubaix mud and cobbles

cycling06 April 2024 13:16| © AFP
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Tom Pidcock © Gallo Images

Ineos allrounder Tom Pidcock made a surprise appearance on the start list for the cobbled classic Paris-Roubaix on Saturday despite a nasty fall ahead of the Tour of the Basque Country last week.

Pidcock had been expected to miss the race after he became one of many top riders injured on the Basque race, including Tour de France contenders Jonas Vingegaard, Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel.

Pidcock, the defending Olympic mountain bike champion, won the junior Paris-Roubaix before turning professional, and said Saturday it was his favourite race.

"I recovered really quick," said Pidcock of his nasty fall while doing a recon of the Basque Country time-trial.

"In the end there's nothing wrong, no problem and I've been training," he said.

Sunday's race is an epic 260km with 57km over rough-hewn cobbles on little used mining roads in the Picardy region bordering Belgium.

"It's my favourite race," he beamed on Saturday morning.

"It's the romance, the passion, it's just the cobbles and the way that they play a part in the race," he explained.

"It's the most special one day race on the cycling calendar he said.

Pidcock is among the favourites to win the race.

Race folklore has it that the cobbles decide the winner, who receives one of the rough-hewn slabs in guise of a champion's trophy along with a cheque of 30 000 euros (32 500 dollars).