Gilbert resigns from Flanders

The Belgian has knee problems since his fall on the Tour last year. The Lotto Soudal team does not guarantee its presence in the Ardennes.


The classics season got off to an exciting start at the end of February for Philippe Gilbert. The Belgian showed a good level in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, fighting for the privileged positions until he crossed the finish line in fifth position. But after passing through Paris-Nice, with the intention of accumulating kilometers that would improve his set-up, the gasoline has run out. And the fact is that the Lotto Soudal runner adds three results of the most discreet in his last participations: a 72nd place in Milan-San Remo (the only Monument that is missing in his record) and two withdrawals in E3 Saxo Bank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem .

All these bad feelings have led to Gilbert's resignation from the Tour of Flanders (April 4), an appointment that he already won in 2017. This is how the former world champion explains it in his team's official statement: "We decided with the team that now I I would take some time off because it is not going well. We took the time to analyze everything that had to be discussed and came to the conclusion that it is a lack of mental and physical freshness. I think it is due to all the work that I did after my accident at the Tour de France last year. I had a bad knee diagnosis. We really didn't realize how bad that second accident was. Maybe I should have stopped my 2020 season at that time. "

Gilbert's knee pain did not disappear until his participation in Milan-San Remo, but even so he explains in the team statement that his form is not adequate at this stage of the course. This uncertainty is now transferred to the Ardennes classics, where right now the presence of the Belgian is not guaranteed. "My idea is to spend four to five days off the bike and then slowly resume training. The Ardennes is still an option, but it is still too early to talk about this. First, I want to feel 100%, both physically and mentally, to be able to play a competitive role. After all, that's why I play sports, "concluded Philippe. It only remains to cross your fingers to see you soon on the asphalt.

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