Philippe Gilbert to lead BMC Racing to Vuelta a España despite recent crash injury
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Philippe Gilbert to lead BMC Racing to Vuelta a España despite recent crash injury

by Ben Atkins at 12:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España, Injury
World champion currently unable to pedal with power as he heads towards rainbow defence

philippe gilbertPhilippe Gilbert will start the Vuelta a España at the head of the BMC Racing Team, despite still suffering from the aftereffects of a crash on the penultimate stage of the Eneco Tour. The World champion suffered a deep cut above his left knee that required eight stitches and has been unable to ride since.

Gilbert has been keeping his fans informed of the progress of his injury via his Twitter feed, noting on Tuesday that he was able to bend his knee to an angle of 70 degrees, and so was hopeful of a Vuelta start. Yesterday he was able to bend it to 105 degrees and, having travelled to Spain, was checked out by team physician Doctor Roger Palfreeman who has cleared him fit to race.

"After some manual therapy of the physiotherapist, I did a session on the trainer," Gilbert said. "Despite some pain, it was possible to ride. After this, we decided to try on the road, where I was able to ride for one hour. At this moment, I am not able to put out power while I am pedalling, but hopefully this will be the next step. We will try tomorrow."

In his current condition Gilbert is unlikely to feature much in the early stages, but will be using the race to hone his fitness for a World championship defence on September 29th. He has yet to take his first victory as World champion, but was in a similar situation last year, where he took his first wins of 2012 at the Vuelta, before taking his rainbow jersey in Valkenberg, Netherlands, shortly afterwards.

With Gilbert in the BMC Racing team will be compatriots Yannick Eijssen and Klaas Lodewyck, along with Italian road and time trial champions Ivan Santaromita and Marco Pinotti, with the former making his Vuelta debut. Dane Sebastian Lander and Swiss Danilo Wyss will also be making their first appearances in the Spanish race, while Swiss Martin Kohler and German Dominik Nerz will - like Eijssen, Lodewyck and Pinotti - will be riding their second edition.

BMC Racing Team for the Vuelta a España
Yannick Eijssen, Philippe Gilbert, Martin Kohler, Sebastian Lander, Klaas Lodewyck, Dominik Nerz, Marco Pinotti, Ivan Santaromita and Danilo Wyss.


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