Gilbert states he’d favour victory in Milan-Sanremo over Liège-Bastogne-Liège
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Gilbert states he’d favour victory in Milan-Sanremo over Liège-Bastogne-Liège

by VeloNation Press at 7:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders
 
No Ronde van Vlaanderen for Belgian rider

Philippe gilbertAlthough he lives next to the course of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and it is consequently seen as his home race, Philippe Gilbert has made clear that in terms of priorities, taking his first Milan Sanremo would be ranked higher for him than a second La Doyenne.

The Italian race has long been a big goal for him and with the new climb of the Pompeiana introduced between the ascents of the Cipressa and the Poggio, thus making the finale more difficult, he believes that his chances have been boosted.

“The redesigned course plays more to my cards. The sprinters will be dropped,” he told Sporza. “If I have to choose between profiting in Sanremo or a second victory in Liège , then I go to Sanremo. I love that contest and I am obliged to try to win the race.”

Because of that ambitious plus his desire to ride strongly in the Ardennes Classics – three races he won in his standout 2011 season – he confirms that he will pass up one of the top Belgian Classics. It’s a race he wants to win, but he will put that ambition off until the future.

“I will focus on the Ardennes races,” he said. “In that area I can excel. Those races were made for me and I want to give all this year. Therefore I will not start in the Ronde van Vlaanderen. There will be time in the coming years for me to go back to Flanders, as well as Paris-Roubaix. I’ve always said that I want to go back there again.”

Indeed Gilbert said on more than one occasion in the past that he hopes to win all of the top Classics before the end of his career. Flanders and Roubaix are two which are missing from his palmares, as well as Sanremo, but his big priority is to get back to winning regularly after two relatively quiet seasons.

He has said that he has had his best winter training since 2010-2011, and suggests that he could be back to his top form this year.

The BMC Racing Team rider made his season debut yesterday in the Tour of Qatar. He rode aggressively, making it into a dangerous move during the stage, then finished in the main bunch. The action continues today and he will once again aim to show his form.
 

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