Philippe Gilbert: “My hunger for the new season gets bigger by the day”
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Philippe Gilbert: “My hunger for the new season gets bigger by the day”

by Ben Atkins at 3:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, World Championships
 
World champion’s training for 2013 started three weeks earlier than last year

philippe gilbertPhilippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) has pronounced himself hungry as he prepares for the 2013 season. The World champion, who finally took what many feel to be a long overdue rainbow jersey in Limburg back in October, has even started his training earlier than he did last year.

“I’ve been back on my bike since the beginning of the month,” he told the Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg, shortly after beating former teammate Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) in an exhibition pursuit race on the opening night of the Gent Six Days. “This is three weeks earlier than last year, when my season had gone on longer. I began quietly, with short rides, but recently I’ve been training longer - up to four hours - behind a scooter.

“I’m happy to be back on my bike. My hunger for the new season gets bigger by the day; especially with the rainbow jersey on my back.”

As a specialist in the hilly races - particularly those with uphill finishes - Gilbert will be, unsurprisingly, taking aim at his usual targets next year.

“My goals are always the same,” he explained. “Firstly, the Spring Classics, especially the Ardennes Classics.”

Gilbert’s rainbow jersey was the first for a Belgian since Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won in Madrid, Spain, back in 2005, and it obviously puts the Walloon in the frame for the Kristallen Fiets, Belgium’s rider of the year award. With Boonen having dominated the Cobbled Classics of 2012 however, Gilbert concedes that he has a fight on his hands for the prestigious award.

“I Suppose Tom Boonen is my biggest competitor,” he said, “which is logical after all the great victories he took this year. Up against that are my World championships and Vuelta stage victories.”

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