GB’s Pidcock wins World under-23 bronze as winner Eekhoff disqualified

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Eekhoff disqualified in U23 road race despite crossing the line first

Britain’s Tom Pidcock won bronze in the men’s under-23 World Road Race in Yorkshire after initial winner Nils Eekhoff was disqualified.

The race jury took 45 minutes after the finish to disqualify Eekhoff for drafting behind his Netherlands team car to catch up after an early crash.

Italy’s Samuele Battistella became world champion, with Switzerland’s Stefan Bissegger taking silver.

“I don’t think the bronze medal changes much,” said Pidcock, 20.

“There’s only one place that matters in a World Championship – I’ve got a souvenir but I would have liked a jersey.”

With a seven-man group contesting the finish in Harrogate, Pidcock launched his sprint early but drifted back before the line.

Despite crashing and injuring his right knee, which had not yet fully healed from a crash in last month’s Tour de l’Avenir, he made it into a four-man group that led into the final 5km of the 186.9km course.

Eekhoff and two others caught the leaders approaching the final kilometre and the 21-year-old Dutchman held off his rivals in the sprint for the line.

But the race jury soon announced the results were under investigation and, after consulting the footage, eventually decided to disqualify Eekhoff.

On Saturday, cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, released footage showing Eekhoff sheltering behind his team car for over two minutes until he made it back to the main bunch.

“It’s not how I would like to win a medal,” added Pidcock.

“I guess there are rules and consequences if you break them.”

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Nils Eekhoff was in tears after being told he had been disqualified

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49859071

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