Tom Pidcock battled to a hard-fought third place in Gavere following an enthralling cyclo-cross showdown.

The Grenadier traded blows in the cross field in the prestigious Boxing Day event, eventually securing a podium finish in the World Cup round.
The Brit enjoyed a great start and opened out a small nine-second lead heading into the second lap. Mathieu van der Poel quickly rebounded from a puncture and by lap three the race came back together, with Wout Van Aert also making it a heavyweight trio out front.
The third lap saw Van der Poel make a big effort to go clear, with Pidcock going deep on lap four to peg the gap and then bring back the Dutchman. Sadly the world champion would pay for his efforts and eventually slipped into third place – holding that position to the line.
The heavy festive ‘cross schedule continues on Tuesday in Heusden-Zolder, before moving on to the Diegem evening race on Wednesday. 
Fellow Grenadier Pauline Ferrand-Prevot was also in action, finishing 27th on the heavy, classic Belgian course. Pauline will also be racing in Heusden-Zolder and Diegem as she continues to re-adjust to top-level cyclo-cross.

- Tom Pidcock 

"I’m maybe a little bit disappointed. It was a very heavy race and in the last few laps I really felt it – especially in the running section. I was really struggling to clip back in afterwards. I just wasn’t strong enough really. 
"At one point when I caught (Van der Poel) [I felt good]. But on the running section my bike was getting heavier and heavier every lap it felt like. It felt like I was carrying a car on my shoulder! Just in the last few laps my legs fell off a bit."