Tom Pidcock’s (Ineos Grenadiers) classics campaign has plunged into uncertainty after a stomach bug ruined his chances in Milan-San Remo.
The British rider was dropped on the Capo Berta with 37km to go in Saturday’s monument and was unable to regain contact with the front of the bunch.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider started the season in fine fashion with two aggressive rides in the “opening weekend,” and he missed Strade Bianche due to a stomach bug. He was unable to feature in the main action at Milan-San Remo, despite a healthy block of training in the build-up.
“The problem back then is similar to what happened in Milan-San Remo,” his coach Kurt Bogaerts told HLN.be.
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“We were able to complete all training sessions as planned. In seven days, Tom trained for more than 30 hours and with the necessary intensity. There were no stomach problems, but they reappeared in the race. Maybe because you have to ‘fuel’ a lot in a long race like Milan-San Remo? The strange thing is that he doesn’t really feel sick.
“We are going to investigate this. Tom had a blood test on Wednesday and we hope that based on those results we can find a cause.”
UPDATE: 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 👊 pic.twitter.com/CDRV9aDbGb
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) March 4, 2022
Pidcock’s main classics ambitions rested on Strade Bianche, the Tour of Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix. His next race was supposed to be Dwars door Vlaanderen on March 30, but that now looks in doubt as the team scrambles to get to the bottom of his current health problems.
“We are not going to make a race schedule until this problem is solved,” Bogaerts said.
After striking gold in mountain biking last summer in Tokyo, Pidcock won a world title in cyclocross at the end of January and switched back to the road a few weeks later, making his season debut at the Volta ao Algarve. He rode in support of Dani Martínez and Ethan Hayter in Portugal before gearing up for the classics.
He raced on the front foot in both races a the Belgian “opening weekend” and made a series of attacks. Despite missing out on a top result, he looked to be moving in the right direction and was marked as a pre-race favorite for Strade Bianche.
However, he was pulled from the race on the eve of the event. Milan-San Remo marked his first race back.