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“I was with him when we learned that the Pompeiana would not be on the route of Milan-San Remo after all. But I can assure that in spite of this latest modification, La Primavera remains the first big goal of his season,” Yvon L...

Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)








07.03.2014 @ 16:44 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

The confirmation by the RCS Sport that newly inserted la Pompeiana climb eventually won’t feature in the coming edition of Milano-Sanremo, certainly in favour of sprinters, forced several riders to reschedule their racing programs for early spring, but according to the BMC sports director Yvon Ledanois it wan’t be the case for Philippe Gilbert as la Classicissima remains one of his main targets for the first part of 2014 season.


In the announcement coming from the race organizers, RCS Sport, it was stated that a safe passage through la Pompeiana climb cannot be guaranteed following the landslides in the central and northern parts of Italy being a consequence of intense rainfalls during the winter period.


The route containing the new ascent, inserted between two other climbs, Cipressa and Poggio, was highly suitable for the classics riders including Gilbert, who animated the race when this parcours appeared first time in 2007. Eventually it won’t turn into reality this time around, however his sports director still believes that the former World Champion in able to excel on the altered route and thus La Primavera remains one of his targets for the first part of 2014 season.


“I was with him when we learned that the Pompeiana would not be on the route of Milan-San Remo after all,” Yvon Ledanois told La Dernière Heure.


“But I can assure that in spite of this latest modification, La Primavera remains the first big goal of his season. He’s always had it in mind, and that hasn’t changed an iota.”


As a consequence of two disappointing seasons and after the refreshing change in the management of BMC team, Gilbert is following a different racing schedule this season with fever but better defined targets as he skips cobbled races to fully concentrate on Ardennes classics better suited to his characteristics.


It is yet to be determined if the new approach is going to help the Belgian rider to replicate his fantastic disposition from 2011, but his early season’s results are leaving enough room for some optimist and so Ledanois believes that he is just on track to hit top form for his main goals.


“Philippe is, in my opinion, perfectly on time for his objectives,” said Ledanois. “He was always present in the finale [last weekend] but too isolated for my liking. I would have liked had one or more of his teammates been up there given the team we had selected on that occasion.”


This year Gilbert will skip Strade Bianche, but ride Roma Maxima and Tirreno-Adriatico as his final preparations ahead od Milano-Sanremo.


“I chose this race because we have a lot of leaders for Strade Bianche the day before,” Gilbert said. “I’ve never taken part in the Roman race but I’m in good form and so I’m aiming for the best result possible.”


There still remains an impression that Gilbert being in a good form, as he claims, and the Strade Bianche’s route would make a more promising combination…



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