Feverish Gilbert withdraws from Tirreno-Adriatico
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Feverish Gilbert withdraws from Tirreno-Adriatico

by VeloNation Press at 6:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury, Tirreno-Adriatico
 
2011 WorldTour champion hoping to recover for Milan-Sanremo

Philippe GilbertAs is the case with the 2011 Milan-Sanremo winner Matt Goss, Philippe Gilbert has been forced out of Tirreno-Adriatico due to illness.

The Classic specialist, whose strong all round form saw him end 2011 as the UCI’s WorldTour champion, is a non-starter on today’s penultimate stage of the Italian race.

“Gilbert currently has a fever of 38.2 degrees,” his team told the media today, according to Het Nieuwsblad, “The fever came on yesterday an hour after the finish. He also has a sore head and throat. It’s perhaps a virus. This Tirreno is very tough, the riders have raced more than 28 hours over four days.”

Gilbert’s participation in the race has not been a successful one. The BMC Racing Team rider was dropped during the opening team time trial, and has lost time on the last two stages. He dropped a very considerably 22 minutes six seconds yesterday, placing 106th.

His team now suspects that the illness was affecting him for some time. “Philippe was probably already fighting the disease for a few days,” a spokesman said. “He very much wanted to start today, but we don’t want to take any chances. Milan-Sanremo is on Saturday and the race is much more important. "

Gilbert conceded last week that he’s not in the same form as last year, but has insisted that he is not panicking. He pointed out that with the Olympic Games and the world championships, he has goals in the second half of the season and that he intended hitting strong condition a little later than in 2011.

However that plus his illness means that winning Milan-Sanremo, long a stated career goal, may be a difficult target for this year. He'll hope this isn't the case, and that he can recover before next weekend's race.

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