Pidcock eighth in Belgium as Bernal retains second

24 Feb 2024

Pidcock eighth in Belgium as Bernal retains second

Omloop Nieuwsblad, 202.2km O Gran Camino - Stage 3 » Xinzo de Limia › Castelo de Ribadavia, 173.2km UAE Tour - Stage 6 » Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum › Abu Dhabi Breakwater, 138km

Tom Pidcock sprinted to eighth place in Ninove as the Cobbled Classics got under way at Omloop Nieuwsblad.

The Brit had spent much of the run-in riding as part of a lead group of six riders, after the dangerous move pushed clear of the pack ahead of the Molenberg.

However the race would come back together heading onto the famed climb of the Muur, with Pidcock able to regroup in the peloton ahead of the final sprint.

Up ahead Jan Tratnik (Visma | Lease a Bike) and Nils Politt (UAE Team Emirates) had edged clear in the closing stages, with Tratnik besting the sprint to take the first win of the Classics season.

The Grenadiers had got through a lot of good work in the early going, and when the race split following a hard start, it had Pidcock, Luke Rowe, Connor Swift and Ben Turner in the reduced front group.

The action continues on Sunday with the challenging Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

After the race Pidcock said: 

null

Saturday also saw the penultimate stage of a hard-fought O Gran Camino. Egan Bernal was able to finish in the chasing peloton to maintain his second place overall.

With one stage to go the Colombian sits 1:13 back on leader Jonas Vingegaard (Visma | Lease a Bike), and two seconds ahead of Jefferson Cepeda (Caja Rural).

Bernal and team-mate Josh Tarling followed an early acceleration from Vingegaard at the start of the day, and Tarling was there again on the final climb in a bid to shut down the Dane as he went solo.

The Welshman showed great form to lead the chase efforts, briefly breaking clear as part of a group of three in the closing stages. At the line Bernal came home 12th, giving himself a great chance of a podium heading into Sunday's queen stage.

The team were also taking on stage six at the UAE Tour, which ended in a bunch sprint. The week-long race concludes with the queen stage on Sunday, and an ascent of the Jebel Hafeet climb.

Tobias Foss sits seventh overall, while Brandon Rivera holds 13th with one stage to go.