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Tom Pidcock out of Strade Bianche with stomach virus

The British rider will miss the Italian one-day race after picking up a stomach virus following the 'opening weekend.'

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Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) has been forced out of Strade Bianche due to a stomach virus.

The British cyclocross world champion had been listed as one of the key favorites for Saturday’s iconic one-day race but came down with illness following ‘opening weekend’ in Belgium.

The news was confirmed via social media with Ineos Grenadiers stating: “Unfortunately @TomPid will not start Strade Bianche tomorrow due to a stomach virus he’s been suffering with since early this week. The medical team have taken the decision it’s better he returns home to rest ahead of his next race. Rest up, and see you soon Tom.”

At the Volta ao Algarve in February the British rider had told VeloNews that “my first goal of the season is Strade Bianche” but it’s unclear at this point as to whether he will be fit and ready for Milano-Sanremo on March 19. Pulling him from Strade Bianche should in theory give him ample time to recover but much will depend on how long he has been out from training.

Pidcock made his 2022 road debut in Algarve and he was in the break on the final stage before eventually abandoning. He was a constant presence in both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, making several major attacks.

He missed out on a top result but his form pointed to an impressive display in Strade Bianche, where he was fifth last season.

The 22-year-old has still not confirmed his contract situation for next year. Ineos Grenadiers has yet to pin Pidcock down on a new deal and two WorldTour teams were in the hunt for his signature last month. VeloNews understands that one of those teams has since been priced out of the market and that only Bora-Hansgrohe remains in the running.

The German team would not comment when approached by VeloNews but it’s understood that as of last week the British rider was still unsigned, although indications are that he is more than likely to stay at Ineos. One source told VeloNews that a deal with Ineos was 99 percent complete.