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Training injury continues pre-Olympic drama for Tom Pidcock

Ineos rider breaks collarbone while preparing for Tour de Suisse

2021 XCC Nove Mesto Tom Pidcock Photo by: Bartek Wolinksi / Red Bull Content Pool

F0r Tom Pidcock, the road to the Olympic Games has been anything but straight forward. First, there was the last minute bid to qualify for Tokyo. This week, the Ineos Grenadiers’ rider’s training took another twist. Pidcock crashed while preparing to race Tour de Suisse, breaking his collarbone.

Down and out in Andorra

Pidcock crashed during a training ride in Andorra on Monday, an Ineos statement Wednesday revealed. As a result of the fall, Pidcock suffered a broken collarbone, and underwent surgery Wednesday at a hospital in Girona.

Pidcock had been in Andorra training for the Tour de Suisse.

“Tom [Pidcock] is doing well and is already looking ahead and focused on his rehabilitation,” Coach Kurt Bogaerts said. “While this means he won’t be able to start at the Tour de Suisse this week as planned, he will get back to training as soon as possible and prepare for the rest of the season.”

It is not yet clear whether the British rider will return to road racing, or switch his focus back to mountain biking ahead of the Tokyo Games.

The men’s cross country XCO event takes place July 26, 2021 in Japan. That leaves Pidcock just under two months to get back on the bike and hit peak form for Tokyo.

2021 XCO World Cup Nove Mesto Tom Pidcock
Tom Pidcock celebrates a fantastic victory in Nove Mesto XCO. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool.
Roller coaster qualification

Pidcock has had an incredible debut season with Ineos. On the road, he’s gone head-to-head with the world’s best riders. In mountain biking, after two races hampered by mechanical difficulties, he stunned the World Cup field with a dominant win, and in only his second elite men’s race. It was also the first British men’s World Cup win in 27 years.

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Even with a World Cup win, Pidcock’s participation in Tokyo was in doubt. Because the UCI’s Olympic qualification system relies on national rankings over several years and not individual results, Great Britain did not have a spot in the men’s race. In the end, Pidcock’s Olympic fate was determined by the result of Romanian cross country racer, Vlad Dascalu, at the Nove Mesto World Cup. In a convoluted chain of events, Dascalu’s 17th place finish, not Pidock’s historic victory.

With his injury in Andorra, the rising British star has one more hurdle to clear on his road to Tokyo. Not much seems to have slowed Pidcock down so far, though. Not Mathieu van der Poel or Nino Schurter. How the young Brit will rebound adds another element of excitement to what is shaping up to be a thrilling Olympic mountain bike race.