Tom Pidcock says that it is too dangerous for professional cyclists to train on time trial bikes on public roads because of the riding position involved.
The 22 year old was speaking to BBC Sport following the crash on Monday that left his Ineos Grenadiers team mate Egan Bernal in intensive care after he crashed into the rear of a bus during a training ride in Colombia.
Pidcock himself broke his collarbone last June when he crashed while training on his time trial bike in the French Pyrenees, close to Andorra, where he lives.
“Positions are getting more and more extreme and we spend more time trying to hold these positions,” the Yorkshire-born rider said. “You don't necessarily see where you're going.”
He suggested that ways could be found to adapt training to remove the risks encountered when riding on roads shared with motor traffic.
“It's evident now where it's getting quite dangerous,” he said. “I don't think we need to stop progressing, but think about how we can train in a safer way and try and mitigate these crashes.”
Ben Turner, who will race alongside Pidcock for Great Britain at Sunday’s UCU Cyclo-cross World Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and who has joined Ineos Grenadiers this season, also had a serious crash on a time trial bike while riding the Prologue of the Tour de l’Avenir last August.
“I crashed on a time trial bike, Ben crashed on a time trial bike. Egan's now crashed – it’s getting quite extreme, the position,” Pidcock said. “I think that’s the biggest causes of the crashes recently."
Bernal, winner of the 2019 Tour de France and the reigning Giro d’Italia champion, has undergone two operations for his injuries, which his team said include “fractured vertebrae, a fractured right femur, a fractured right patella, thoracic trauma, a punctured lung, and several fractured ribs due to the heavy impact.”
His father, Germán, told Colombian newspaper El Tiempo that the 25 year old’s recovery was progressing well.
“I’ve seen him a little better,” he said. I’ve exchanged a few words with him, because he speaks little. In the midst of everything, we have been calm because his health is better than in the previous days.”
Bernal’s mother, Flor Marina, posted an Instagram story showing pictures of him as a child and, referring to his ongoing recovery, said: “My happiness could be compared to what I felt 25 years ago because I felt that my son was born again.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.