Sir Bradley Wiggins has lauded two young Yorkshireman for their perseverance and dedication after they were named on Great Britain’s long list for the UCI Road World Championships in the White Rose county later this month.
Gabriel Cullaigh and Tom Pidcock join the great and good of British cycling after stellar campaigns for development squad, Wiggins Le Col, the team that the former Tour de France winner put his name to.
Holmfirth’s Cullaigh, 23, joins the likes of 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, former Vuelta Espana champion Simon Yates and his fellow Yorkshiremen and the last three men to win the national road race title – Ben Swift, Connor Swift and Adam Blythe – on the long list for the men’s road race. His inclusion is just reward for Cullaigh, who a year ago was contemplating his future in the sport.
“Gabz was out of contract at the end of last season and was too old for our team but we took him back on,” Wiggins told The Yorkshire Post.
“He was ready to retire at the end of last season, but he rode the races he could for us and he’s now managed to get himself a multi-year contract with Spanish pro team Movistar.
“He’s such a lovely lad and it’s given me such a source of pride.And we’ve also got cycling’s next big future in Tom Pidcock, whose going from strength to strength.”
Pidcock was the next big thing in cycling two years ago when winning junior races at both the road and cyclo-cross world championships.
But after seeing his momentum checked, he is earning positive results again under Wiggins.
“Tom Pidcock set a precendent when he was very young, everything he touched turned to gold,” said Wiggins.
“When you set that precedent, suddenly when you’re getting seconds and thirds, people deem it as a failure. But he’s come through that off his own back.
“If he’s touted as the next Tour de France winner from this country then I think Tom’s the type of personality, a proper down-to-earth Yorkshire lad who will thrive off that and use it to his advantage.”
Lizzie Deignan leads the home challenge in the women’s road race from Bradford to Harrogate on Saturday, September 28, but there is no place for 2011 champion Mark Cavendish in the men’s squad for the following day’s race from Leeds.
The Great Britain Cycling Team for UCI Road World Championships 2019:
Elite Men’s Road Race (six to ride):
Tao Geoghegan Hart
Elite Men’s Time Trial (two to ride):
Tao Geoghegan Hart
Elite Women’s Road Race (six to ride):
Elite Women’s Time Trial (two to ride):
U23 Men’s Road Race (five to ride):
U23 Men’s Time Trial (two to ride):
Junior Men’s Road Race (five to ride):
Junior Men’s Time Trial (two to ride):
Oscar Nilsen Julien
Junior Women’s Road Race (five to ride):
Junior Women’s Time Trial (two to ride):
Team Time Trial Mixed Relay (three male riders, three female riders to ride):