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"My time trial was good, but this parcours was for the specialists. The corners were good and fast. Everything was on the big ring," Gilbert says

Photo: Sirotti








31.05.2014 @ 10:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Philippe Gilbert faced an uphill battle against world champion Tony Martin in the Tour of Belgium time trial but did well to come away with 6th and remain within striking distance ahead of the two hilly weekend stages. The Belgian is ready to attack the race leader after a day that saw his young teammate take an impressive fourth place.


BMC Racing Team's Silvan Dillier finished fourth in Friday's individual time trial and teammate Philippe Gilbert was sixth and climbed into the top five overall with two days to go at the Baloise Belgium Tour.


Dillier said the course was not too technical, but he gauged his efforts in matching his season-best result. The first-year professional enjoyed the best time while 82 other riders finished before winding up 44 seconds behind stage winner and world time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).


"I took it slowly in the corners and tried to speed up after each one," Dilllier said. "I carried on the speed for the whole parcours. It went really well in the first part. The second part was pretty hard."


Gilbert, who was four seconds slower than Dillier, said he was pleased with his performance, which leaves him fourth overall and 46 seconds behind Martin, who assumed the overall lead from his teammate, Tom Boonen.


"My time trial was good, but this parcours was for the specialists," Gilbert said. "The corners were good and fast. Everything was on the big ring."

BMC Racing Team's Greg Van Avermaet, who entered the 16.8-kilometer race against the clock in fifth overall, conceded 66 seconds to Martin and is 14th overall, 61 seconds back.


"A time trial is always hard, you always try to give your best," Van Avermaet said. "We had a good 'mark time' from Dillier and I tried to stay around this time. But in the end, I lost time. I couldn't go faster." 


Sporting Manager Allan Peiper said he was pleased with the BMC Racing Team's performance. He instructed all seven of the team's riders to go full-out Friday.


"We wanted to be as close as we could to Tony Martin for the final weekend and I think that was achieved," Peiper said. "Philippe did a great ride and Silvan was maybe not a surprise. But it is really nice to see he can be so close to the top guys. So we go into this final weekend with the challenge of racing against the best guys and seeing if we can finish off this Tour of Belgium in good style."



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