Pidcock's Amstel Gold Race hopes take a blow after another bout of illness

British Tom Pidcock of Ineos Grenadiers is pictured at the start of the mens race of the Ronde van Vlaanderen Tour des Flandres Tour of Flanders one day cycling event 2725km from Antwerp to Oudenaarde on April 3 2022 Belgium OUT Photo by DIRK WAEM Belga AFP Belgium OUT Photo by DIRK WAEMBelgaAFP via Getty Images
Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) (Image credit: DIRK WAEMBelgaAFP via Getty Images)

Following his second-place finish last year, Tom Pidcock takes to Sunday's Amstel Gold Race as one of the main favourites, perhaps only behind 2019 winner and home favourite Mathieu van der Poel.

However, the Briton's chances of moving up to the top step of the podium look to have taken a hit after he admitted that he has been suffering with illness in the lead-up to the race.

Speaking to the assembled media, including Cyclingnews, at the start of Amstel Gold Race in Maastricht on Sunday morning, Pidcock said he just couldn't stay healthy despite his best efforts.

"I've been ill this week, which has been very frustrating in the least," he said. "I tried everything to stay healthy, but it just seems a bit like pot luck at the moment.

"But I'm on the start line and I'll do my best today," he concluded.

Pidcock, who has recently signed a five-year deal to stay with Ineos Grenadiers, has already suffered with illness during this spring campaign.

The 22-year-old missed March's Strade Bianche with a stomach problem and then withdrew midway through Milan-San Remo with the same issue after being dropped from the peloton on the Capi climbs.

He returned to action a week later at Gent-Wevelgem and placed third at Dwars door Vlaanderen before a 14th place at the Tour of Flanders last week. Pidcock had suggested that the 272km distance at Flanders might be a factor for him at the race following his illness, with the 254km and 33 hills at Amstel Gold Race also throwing up a question mark before he revealed his recent illness.

Despite the illness, Pidcock said he'd try to enjoy the day's racing, though whether he'll be in the mix for the top places on the final trio of climbs – the Cauberg, Geulhemmerberg, and Bemelberg – remains to be seen.

"This is a really nice race," he said. "I love riding around here. I love the race here. It's kind of new for me because we didn't do this course last year. So, I can use the experience of the other guys and try and enjoy it."

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