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Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) was lucky to escape major injury Sunday after he was one of the first riders to crash in a huge pile-up at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the all-rounder said he may have finished the race with a broken finger.
The incident happened with 59.5km to go, with Bahrain-Victorious setting a blistering pace on a short downhill section.
A touch of wheels catapulted Pidcock off the road and into a ditch with at least 30 riders hitting the deck. The most seriously affected rider was Julian Alaphilippe, with the world champion conscious but taken to hospital immediately.
Pidcock was able to remount and regain contact with the front of the peloton. He would eventually finish 103rd in the race.
“I think I might have a broken finger … and I think that I might have used up one of my [nine] lives today. I’m not going to lie,” he told VeloNews at the finish in Liege.
The cause of the mass crash is still unclear but Pidcock was quick to give his take from inside the peloton.
According to the British rider, a rival from DirectEnergies took too many risks as he tried to move up through the peloton. That appeared to cause a chain reaction with the initial touch of wheels leading to a significant number of riders unable to avoid the initial fallers.
At the time of the crash the peloton was traveling at close to 70kph.
“This DirectEnergies guy risked his life and risked everyone else’s life when he was coming from behind. It was not an acceptable move to be honest,” Pidcock said.
The race also brings down the curtain on Pidcock’s classics season. He was forced to miss Strade Bianche through illness, and despite picking up a podium in Dwars doors Vlaanderen, was short of his top form in key races due to a lingering stomach bug.
“I’ve had a classics season to forget to be honest,” he said. “A lot to learn but I’m glad that it’s over.”
Pidcock is set to take a break from racing before building up for his next goal. He is penciled in for a Giro d’Italia debut, but there has been talk of him heading to the Tour de France in July instead.