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"After the Tour de Suisse the thought of Rio crossed his head again. Who am I to leave out a man with such a palmares?"

Photo: ANSA / DAL ZENNARO - ZENNARO - PERI

PHILIPPE GILBERT

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS
22.06.2016 @ 19:53 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After ruling himself out of the running for a spot on the Olympic team for Belgium, Philippe Gilbert has persuaded coach Kevin De Weert to once more add the 33 year old’s name to the long list for Rio.

 

After a poor start to the season, Gilbert confirmed he was no longer putting himself forward for selection and would instead ride the European Championships in Nice and then the Worlds in Qatar.

 

"Before the start of the Tour of Luxembourg, I had a conversation with him. At that time it was still uncertain whether he had recovered from the injury,” explained De Weert to Cyclingews. "Later that week he won two stages in the Tour of Luxembourg and after the Tour de Suisse the thought of Rio crossed his head again. At that time my eight names were already on paper. But who am I to leave out a man with such a palmares?"

 

De Weert says this is by no means a confirmation that Gilbert will make the Olympic team, as he has five spots and four will go to climbers, leaving just one for the likes of Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet to fight for.

 

"They are the two 'Classics riders' in the pre-selection of nine. In the final team of five that I have in mind, one place will be reserved for a rider with those characteristics. The four others will be climbers," said De Weert.

 

The nine-man long-list is completed by Jan Bakelants, Ben Hermans, Serge Pauwels, Laurens De Plus, Louis Vervaeke, Tim Wellens, Van Avermaet and Bart De Clercq.

 

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