"I noticed in the Algarve that I was a much better rider than last year" - Tom Pidcock as confident as ever with Classics success in mind

After what was a disappointing Classics campaign by his own admission in 2022, Tom Pidcock returned with a career-best result at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, finishing 5th and the INEOS Grenadiers rider is confident he's as good now as he has ever been.

"It will not be difficult to do better than a year ago, it was really not my best period," the 23-year-old Yorkshireman revealed to a virtual press conference. "I was too inconsistent last year, so I wanted to build myself a solid base. Not doing the Cyclocross World Championships allowed me to."

Indeed Pidcock's decision to skip the defence of his cyclocross world title drew heavy criticism from many, however Pidcock himself was never in doubt that he'd made the right choice in prioritising the road and the Classics. The only way to prove that though is through results, something Pidcock has already begun to do with a stage win at the Volta ao Algarve and fifth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

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"I noticed in the Algarve that I was a much better rider than last year," he says before alluding to a potential attempt at winning Paris-Roubaix in the coming year. "It's always been my favorite race, even though I've never done it as a professional and I think the Tour of Flanders suits my qualities better. I always liked to watch Paris-Roubaix when I was younger and I always leaned more towards this race. Do it in 2023? I'm not saying no, so maybe."

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