With the Vuelta a España, Strade Bianche and the UCI Road World Championships all on the agenda, Tom has listed out his road season schedule.
The British all-rounder has also announced that he will push forward his official start date by a month at Ineos Grenadiers and will join up with the team of Dave Brailsford at the beginning of February, only after the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships have been completed.
“I finish ‘cross on January 31, and then as of February I change to Ineos,” the 21-year-old confirmed on the Lanterne Rouge Cycling Podcast.
“It was March but we’re changing it to February now. I’ll be doing the Mediterranean Epic, the mountain bike race, and then the Volta ao Algarve and Opening Weekend. There’s no break, I’m going straight into the road.
“There’s an idea that me and my coaches have come to. Beyond the first races, it’s Strade Bianche, but hopefully I’ll be doing a big mountain bike block in June, and then Olympics, hopefully. And then I want to ride the Vuelta and then the road Worlds.”
Tom has not taken part in a Grand Tour before but definitely has pedigree in stage racing, having won the Baby Giro in 2020 in convincing style, with three stages wins and a sizeable lead over his nearest rivals.
The complete routes for both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España have yet to be announced, but the Vuelta looks like the most likely choice at this early stage, given its timetable and its commitment to mountain biking during the summer. Tom claims that, should he be chosen, he is ready for a three-week challenge and that he is more than happy to help his team.
“I’d like to do a Grand Tour. I’m not going to go in as a leader but I can go in and help the team. I’m happy to do that. There’s no pressure and it’s almost easier to perform when you’re not under pressure. I quite like working for others sometimes.”
Paris-Roubaix is one race not on his plans this year, but the former champion at both junior and under-23 level aims to take on the WorldTour race in 2022 at least, and run one day for the Roubaix velodrome victory.
“I’m not riding it this year but next year I want to ride it,” he said.
“For sure, if I win I’ll be the first guy who is sub-60kg to win, so it’s something that I want to target. Whether I do win… I simply don’t have the raw power of the big guys – they’re just the facts – but I do want to give it a go. It’s one of my favourite races, especially when all the fans are allowed to come back.”
For now, with the elite World Championships taking place at the end of this month, Tom remains concentrated on cross. He assumes he will be well served on the road by his current training regime and ‘cross practise’ so he can add more stamina and agility to his programme.
“It’s simply not possible to replicate a cross race in training. They’re so fast now,” he said.
“Even if I just did it for training for the road, it’s by far the best training that I could do for the road – to be explosive, powerful, and fast for the road and then you just need to add endurance and you’re basically a complete road rider then.”