"Special rider" Tom Pidcock's decision to skip Cyclocross World Championship defence vindicated by Strade Bianche win according to Rod Ellingworth

After there having been much discussion over Tom Pidcock's decision to skip the defence of his Cyclocross World Championship Title, the Brit has been vindicated by victory at Strade Bianche according to Rod Ellingworth.

"Strade Bianche was his first big goal of 2023. It was the reason why he didn't do the cyclocross worlds and that proved to be the right choice," INEOS Grenadiers team manager Rod Ellingworth says of Pidcock to Cycling News. "You can feel it in the team, victory at Strade Bianche has lifted everybody and that’s exactly where you want them to be. To kick off early with a big win settles everybody down."

Pidcock's solo win was a ride that will live long in the memory and Ellingworth was gushing in his praise of the 23-year-old Brit. "I told him earlier how I was really impressed with his ride. Most people would have given up when the gap to the chasers fell to just eight seconds but he didn't."

"I love that in a bike rider. It was impressive but that’s Tom's character. He can step up on the big occasions," he continues. "The special riders, they step up like that. Think about the Tour de France last year when he won on L’Alpe d’Huez, the mountain bike race at the Olympics. They're all big, big moments, so seeing him do that again on Saturday was impressive."

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