Tom Pidcock proud to wear white jersey on maiden Tour de France for Ineos Grenadiers

Of all the days for a fire alarm to wake a rider at the Tour de France, one of the very few rest days is the absolute worst.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Yet that was the sound that interrupted Tom Pidcock and his Ineos Grenadiers team-mates from their slumber at 7.30am on Monday in Morzine.

“I refused to get out of bed,” laughs Pidcock.

“It could have been worse, it could have been anti-doping then you have to get out of bed. But I was so determined to sleep my plan was if there was a fire, I’d turn the bath on, jump in with the duvet on and then run out with the wet duvet round me.”

In the rhythm: Tom Pidcock at the start of stage five of his maiden Tour de France last week. (Picture: Zak Williams/SWPix.com)In the rhythm: Tom Pidcock at the start of stage five of his maiden Tour de France last week. (Picture: Zak Williams/SWPix.com)
In the rhythm: Tom Pidcock at the start of stage five of his maiden Tour de France last week. (Picture: Zak Williams/SWPix.com)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Joking aside, Pidcock was inclined to feel he had earned a few extra minutes in bed.

For nine stages into his maiden Tour de France the 22-year-old from Leeds is exceeding any pre-race expectations of what he might achieve. After finishing 15th in the short 13km time-trial on the opening stage, things have snowballed to the point where Pidcock has had a fourth-place finish, a 10th and two more inside the top 15.

He is currently seventh on the general classification, just one minute and 46 seconds down on leader Tadej Pogecar.

“It wasn’t the plan but it has turned out like that,” Pidcock tells The Yorkshire Post.

Thomas Pidcock in the white jersey for Ineos Grenadiers, on stage 7 of the 2022 Tour (Picture: Zac Williams/SWpix.com)Thomas Pidcock in the white jersey for Ineos Grenadiers, on stage 7 of the 2022 Tour (Picture: Zac Williams/SWpix.com)
Thomas Pidcock in the white jersey for Ineos Grenadiers, on stage 7 of the 2022 Tour (Picture: Zac Williams/SWpix.com)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It wasn’t a bad time-trial for my first go, all things considered. And from there it’s a case of seeing where this leads.

“It took me a few days to get into the rhythm of the Tour. It’s harder, it’s faster, people don’t give up their places as easily.

“But once I got into the rhythm it’s about finding my level.”

His level is currently that of the best young rider (Under-26) in the race. Pogecar, seeking a third straight yellow jersey, is only 23 and would ordinarily be wearing the white jersey to symbolise the race’s leading young star, but because the Slovenian wears yellow, the white jersey is Pidcock’s to enjoy.

Tour De France - Stage 4 - Dunkirk to Calais - France - Thomas Pidcock, Ineos Grenadiers. (Picture: Zac Williams/SWPix.com)Tour De France - Stage 4 - Dunkirk to Calais - France - Thomas Pidcock, Ineos Grenadiers. (Picture: Zac Williams/SWPix.com)
Tour De France - Stage 4 - Dunkirk to Calais - France - Thomas Pidcock, Ineos Grenadiers. (Picture: Zac Williams/SWPix.com)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s a real honour getting to line-up at the front every day, wearing a jersey in the Tour de France, not may riders can say they’ve done that,” says Pidcock, the Olympic mountain bike and world cyclo-cross champion.

“Pogacar is certainly still very young, it is mightily impressive what he does. But with this being my first Tour I can be happy with where I am. I do compare myself to these guys like Pogacar and Wout van Aert so it would be nice to beat them in the future.”

Even with what he has accomplished so far, and with 12 stages still to come, Pidcock is quick to stress that his maiden Tour de France is a learning experience. He first raced a three-week grand tour at the Vuelta Espana last summer and while not thrilled with his performance just weeks after winning Olympic gold, there were lessons he could take off the bike that may serve him well as the Tour moves into the mountains.

“I think you understand a lot about the weight side,” he says. “People might think you can eat as much as you want when you’re riding every day for three weeks, but we’re conditioned and efficient so we have to be careful what we eat. Even moving hotels all the time, staying organised, maximising the amount of rest as well, these are all things to be considered. And then there’s how to control your emotions, especially when you’re tired.”

The 2022 Tour De France - Stage 9 - Aigle to Chatel - France - (Picture: Zak Williams/SWPix.com)The 2022 Tour De France - Stage 9 - Aigle to Chatel - France - (Picture: Zak Williams/SWPix.com)
The 2022 Tour De France - Stage 9 - Aigle to Chatel - France - (Picture: Zak Williams/SWPix.com)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Tour moves to a hilly stage from Morzine to Megeve on Tuesday before two stages in the mountains when Pidcock’s status in the top 10 will be tested.

“If it gets hectic I could try and slip up the road and cause a bit of chaos,” he said of his plans for stage 10. “There’s a lot of mountains to come, it’s a long time suffering up those mountains. We’ve just been saying in the team meeting, you need to enjoy the suffering.”