Tom Pidcock will not race Liège-Bastogne-Liège this Sunday having not recovered in time from his crash at Flèche Wallonne earlier in the week.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider had been brought down with 30km remaining on Wednesday, chasing back on with help from Tao Geoghegan Hart and rejoining the peloton after 6km adrift.
The 19-year-old gathered himself before riding to an impressive sixth place, 11 seconds behind winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).
“Feel like I’ve been hit by a bus today,” Pidcock said after the crash. “I’ve forgotten how hard roads are in comparison to mud.”
Instead of racing Liège, what would have been his third Monument appearance during his debut pro season, Pidcock will take a few days to rest before setting his sights on his first mountain bike race of the season next weekend in Switzerland.
Coming in to replace the Brit is Irishman Eddie Dunbar, who will accompany a super-strong Ineos line-up including the likes of Giro d’Italia winners Richard Carapaz and Geoghegan Hart, Adam Yates and former world champion Michał Kwiatkowski.
“One change to our Liege lineup, with Eddie Dunbar replacing Tom Pidcock. Tom has not quite fully recovered from his crash at Flèche on Wednesday,” Ineos Grenadiers said. “He’ll now have a few days of rest before turning his attention to the first MTB race of his season next weekend in Switzerland.”
Ineos will face stiff competition from the likes of Julian Alaphilippe and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), the pair finishing six seconds clear of the rest up the Mur de Huy in first and second place at Flèche Wallonne.
UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogačar and Marc Hirschi will be present this time around, however, having missed Flèche due to ‘false positive’ coronavirus tests.
Fortunately, the team’s entire entourage returned negative tests the morning before the race and have been cleared to take the start line in Liège.