Philippe Gilbert: ‘I will be a little stronger in 2012, and possibly also in 2013”
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Philippe Gilbert: ‘I will be a little stronger in 2012, and possibly also in 2013”

by VeloNation Press at 7:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Belgian believes he’s got another year or two of improvement ahead

Philippe GilbertMaking a prediction which could strike fear into his rivals in the peloton, world number one Philippe Gilbert has said that he believes that he will continue to gain strength for one or two more years.

“I do not know where my limits are exactly and the past season did not show them to me because more than once, I managed things I never imagined,” he told La Dernière Heure. “For example, I was very surprised to finish the Tour strongly.

“I'm 29, I will still progress physically for another year or two and will be without doubt a little stronger in 2012, and possibly also in 2013.

“After that, the goal will be to stay there as long as possible. I think, and it is the main thing, I still have room [to improve] and a lot of motivation.”

The Belgian clocked up a staggering 18 victories this season, dominating the Ardennes Classics with the extremely rare treble of Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He also won Brabantse Pijl in the same period, triumphing in those races despite being closely marked by his competitors.

Other successes which came his way included a stage and stint in the Maillot Jaune in the Tour de France, the Belgian road and time trial championships, overall victory in the Tour of Belgium and the Ster ZLM Toer, and single day victories in the Clasica San Sebastian and Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec. It was a remarkable season and one which marked him out as a real king of the Classics.

He will move to the BMC Racing Team for 2012 and will be part of a very strong setup which also includes Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and 2010 world champ Thor Hushovd.

Many are predicting that the team’s collective strength will make it very hard to beat next season; if so, and if Gilbert does indeed manage to improve further, the Belgian looks set for a even bigger, better year in 2012.


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