Belgian cycling federation president brands Gilbert as ‘too selfish’
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Belgian cycling federation president brands Gilbert as ‘too selfish’

by VeloNation Press at 7:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: E3-Prijs
Rider faulted for not helping Roelandts in Olympics and worlds

Philippe GilbertPhilippe Gilbert is favoured by many Belgian fans but his shine has faded somewhat with the president of the Belgian federation, the Royale Ligue Velocipedique Belge. It’s not due to his underperformance this year – he clocked up eighteen wins in 2011 but none thus far this season – but rather by what Tom Van Damme feels is a lack of consideration for others at crucial moments in the finale of top races.

Van Damme is referring to the past two events when Gilbert donned the national jersey; last autumn’s world championships in Denmark and the recent Olympic Games road race in London. His issue is not Gilbert’s long attack in the latter, but rather what he perceives as a lack of support for a team-mate in the final sprint.

“He did not [help], already for the second consecutive time in the national jersey,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws. “In the final stage of the world championships last year in Copenhagen it was suggested that Philippe was too selfish. That is unacceptable. I will soon have a good conversation with Gilbert.”

Van Damme believes that if Gilbert had led out Jurgen Roelandts in Denmark, that he would have finished better than the fifth place he achieved. As for the Olympic road race, Roelandts considers that he got the sprint wrong, going too early and fading before the line. Van Damme’s suggestion is that he would have been better than seventh had Gilbert ridden the sprint for him.

Gilbert is yet to respond to those claims, but his standing appears considerably different than at the high point of last year when he seemed almost to be able to grab victories at will.


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