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"I'm not the least worried that Phil will be at the start of the Vuelta. It was impossible that he would start in the last stage of the Eneco Tour, but there's nothing broken or fundamentally injured," sports director Yvon...

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19.08.2013 @ 12:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

A crash on the penultimate stage forced Philippe Gilbert to abandon the Eneco Tour but the Belgian won't miss out on any more racing. His BMC team has confirmed that the world champion will stick to his schedule and so race the Vuelta a Espana to prepare for the world championships.

 

Philippe Gilbert had hoped to win not only the penultimate stage on his home soil in the Ardennes but also the Eneco Tour overall. A crash with 70km to go in Saturday's stage left him with a deep wound on his knee and even though he managed to finish the stage, 8 stitches forced him to skip the final stage of the event.

 

That was an immediate concern in Belgium which hopes to see the Belgian take back-to-back wins at the world championships in Florence in late September. With his key preparation event being the Vuelta a Espana which starts on Saturday, his autumn schedule was suddenly up in the air.

 

BMC sports director Yvon Ledanois has, however, calmed down the Belgian, confirming that the world champion will race the Vuelta as planned. Last year it was his two stage wins in the Spanish grand tour that indicated that he was back on track for the worlds in what had until that point been a horrible season.

 

"I'm not the least worried that Phil will be at the start of the Vuelta," Ledanois told Sportwereld. "It was impossible that he would start in the last stage of the Eneco Tour, but there's nothing broken or fundamentally injured. Phil will have three or four days rest, but with the form he is in, I do not expect a decline."

 

“He will be there fully for the Vuelta. We have two, three stages picked out, but he especially wants to lay the foundation for the World Championships.”

 

The Vuelta starts on Saturday with a team time trial in Galicia.

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