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„Many riders at the age of 35 vere still able to win the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. If I keep training well and my condition will be good, I can't see why I shouldn't achieve it in the future,” Gilbert said.

Photo: Sirotti

ARDENNERKLASSIKERE

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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GREG VAN AVERMAET

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KUURNE-BRUXELLES-KUURNE

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MILANO - SANREMO

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OMLOOP HET NIEUWSBLAD

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PARIS - NICE

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PHILIPPE GILBERT

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16.02.2015 @ 07:48 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Even though a new race programme proposed by Allan Peiper allowed Philippe Gilbert to return to his winning ways and become the only Belgian to take victory a classic last year, apparently the 32-year old rider would have preferred to remain the sole BMC Racing reader for the whole spring campaign.

 

Skipping the cobbles last year turned out to be a successful approach for Gilbert, who desperately wanted to become a factor in Ardennes again following two very poor seasons. While Greg Van Avermaet gladly took over a responsibility of leading the team in Flemish one-day races, the 32-year old Belgian followed a slightly less demanding schedule, which allowed him to win the Brabantse Pijl and his favourite Amstel Gold Race.

 

Just after the Ardennes campaign had been concluded, Gilbert admitted that the new schedule characterised by greater focus on fever races was a very good solution. It turned out, however, that the former world champion would prefer to return to his old habits and wanted to lead the BMC in both Flemish and Ardennes classics, not feeling any need to share such responsibilities with growing stronger and stronger Van Avermaet.

 

The American squad eventually forced Gilbert to accept their point of view, but it didn't prevent the 32-year old cyclist from regularly fenting his frustration about skipping the cobbles in Belgian media.

 

„Many riders at the age of 35 vere still able to win the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. If I keep training well and both my physical and mental condition will be good, I can't see why I shouldn't achieve it in the future,” Gilbert told Sporza.

 

„A change of generations? Boonen and Cancellara are also getting older. It is absolutely normal that younger riders want to step up, it has always been the case and a time will arrive when it's all over. But I refuse to look at what others are doing, I focus on myself. The rest is not so important.”

 

The BMC Racing captain revealed more details about his 2015 schedule, which will be busy even despite skipping the Flemish classics.

 

„I ride the opening weekend in Belgium [Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne], then Paris-Nice and Milano-Sanremo. Milano-Sanremo is one of the greatest events in the calendar, but winning there is never easy. The I will start training in the mountains specifically for the Ardennes classics,” Gilbert revealed.

 

„I ride the Giro this year. In 2009 I tried to combine the Giro with all the classics and such schedule was too heavy. This year I want to save some reserves and so I will skip particular events in the spring.”

 

Asked about riding the Tour de France this season, Gilbert hasn't ruled out such possibility. It seems absolutely clear, however, that a battle for nine available spots in the BMC Racing roster for the French three-week event will be incredibly tough in 2015.

 

„I see no problem in combining Giro with the Tour. But the Tour de France is still very far away..”

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