Tom Pidcock further proved he is the future of British cycling by becoming the youngest ever winner of a Tour de France stage on Alpe d’Huez.
The 22-year-old from Leeds conquered the most famous climb in world cycling yesterday to claim his first major stage victory, beating rejuvenated four-time champion Chris Froome into third on roads packed with raucous fans.
Pidcock, who claimed gold in mountain biking at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, is just the second Brit after Geraint Thomas in 2018 to win atop the iconic French mountain.
Tom Pidcock became just the second Brit after Geraint Thomas in 2018 to win on Alpe d’Huez
Stage 12 was Pidcock’s first ever win on the Tour in his debut year
‘It’s not bad that, is it? If I get dropped every other day, I don’t care,’ grinned the Ineos Grenadiers rider, who is making his Tour debut.
‘I thought maybe I would win one of these stages up a hill in the middle of nowhere, but to win Alpe d’Huez, that is insane.
‘It was one of my best experiences in cycling. You can’t even imagine riding up through all of these people. It was unreal – slaloming through people’s flags and fists.’
Pidcock is now eighth in the overall race, with Ineos team-mate Thomas – who came seventh on the stage – third and still in contention for the yellow jersey.
On Pidcock, Thomas said: ‘He is a super talent. It’s great to see him do well.’
Pidcock was part of a five-man breakaway during yesterday’s 12th stage, before making the first attack some 10km from the summit and then gradually riding away to finish 48 seconds clear of South African Louis Meintjes.
Froome’s third place was his best performance since he suffered career-threatening injuries three years ago.
Jonas Vingegaard finished sixth to retain the yellow jersey ahead of two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar, who was fifth.
The Olympic gold medallist was part of a break away group with British legend Chris Froome