No immediate honeymoon for Gilbert
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

No immediate honeymoon for Gilbert

by Bjorn Haake at 6:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, General

Philippe Gilbert will get married on August 7 next year, sandwiched between the Clasica a San Sebastian and the Hamburg Cyclassics. There will be no time for an immediate honeymoon in the middle of the racing season for the Gilberts.

The wedding of the Monaco residents will take place on home soil in Belgium. "This is better for the family and friends," Gilbert's girlfriend Patricia Zeevaert told Dernière Heure. Due to the foreign residence and the Belgian tax laws, Gilbert can only spend one hundred days a year in his home country.

"Philippe asked me three months ago to marry him and I said 'yes'," Zeevaert said with a smile. "The wedding will be on August 7."

Most riders opt for the off-season to celebrate such major events, but Gilbert decided to celebrate in the middle of the season. "We had to work around his racing schedule," the future Mrs Gilbert said. The honeymoon won't be skipped, though. "We will just go after the season. It's no big deal - then we have all the time in the world."

If Gilbert can do a honeymoon without his bike remains to be seen, though. This winter the couple headed for a vacation to Corsica where riding is great. Gilbert not only trained, but even raced two criteriums, winning one of them.

But this dedication helps make Gilbert so successful and Zeevaert has fond memories from it. "My best souvenir is his win in Paris-Tours last year. It was his first major win. I watched the final on TV - the attack by Philippe, the difficult finale and the tension in the end. In the sprint I yelled 'Go kid'!"

She is also there for him in the tough times such as this spring, when Gilbert was prevented a third place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. "I know that I don't like to see him sad and angry, such as when he found out that Davide Rebellin tested positive." Rebellin was third in that race, one place ahead of Gilbert. The results still stand as of now, with Rebellin appealing his case to CAS, the sports arbitration court in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The couple is also annoyed and frustrated at the Valverde case, for his alleged involvement in Operación Puerto. "Cycling is a really beautiful sport," said Zeevaert. "A tough and difficult sport, but it has to be the body and the head that make he difference, not the products. That's what I like about Phil."


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