Tom Pidcock says he 'forgot the basics of eating well and fuelling well' at Tour of Flanders

The young British star finished outside of the top 40 alongside world champion Julian Alaphilippe after a a couple of daring moves in the race

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tom Pidcock went into his debut at the Tour of Flanders as one of the potential team leaders alongside Dylan van Baarle, and says he'll take positives from the race despite mismanaging his fuelling.

Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) went on an early move with around 50km to go in the race but no one wanted to go with the British rider, meaning he slipped back into the group.

Later in the race he was unable to follow the decisive moves by Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), and eventual winner Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), saying he messed up his feeding earlier on in the race.

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The 21-year-old from Leeds said in a team press release: "I had fun. It was a good race and it wasn’t perfect, of course. I forgot the basics of eating well and fuelling well but I enjoyed racing and I’m excited to come back next year.

"I’ve got to take the positives and today, that was just who I am - I’m a racer, I like racing. Going on the move probably wasn’t the best thing to do if I wanted to get a result today but I’d rather do that and try then get dropped at the end, rather than roll round and finish in the top 20."

Pidcock came in alongside world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - who was up in the lead group after instigating the original move before slipping back on the Oude Kwaremont and latterly in the finish straight - over two minutes down on Alaphilippe's team-mate, Asgreen.

It wasn't all doom and gloom for Ineos Grenadiers though, as their main man Van Baarle, managed another top 10, adding to his two top 10s in previous Classics this year, as well as his win at Dwars door Vlaanderen last week.

In the same press release, Van Baarle said: "I didn’t have the best day. I could feel it a little in the beginning, fighting for position was a bit hard, and I was too far back the second time up the Kwaremont. Then a crash happened in front of me and from then on I was chasing all the time. I came back a few times but never really recovered from it and if you don’t have the best legs then you try to follow and wait for your moment. It didn’t happen today.

"Van Avermaet and Stuyven went and nobody reacted, Van Aert went, everyone went with him and I thought OK, this is my moment. I went but Van Aert closed it straight away again. That would have been the moment to try and catch Van Avermaet and Stuyven.

"It’s another chance gone. I know I can be better and that’s a bit frustrating but for the feeling I had today I gave 100 per cent."

Pidcock is now due to race Brabantse Pijl before heading to do a full Ardennes Classics campaign. It is not known which races Van Baarle is likely to ride in the coming months.

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