Team News: Philippe Gilbert Withdraws from Vuelta


BMC’s Philippe Gilbert withdrew from the Vuelta a España, saying he did not want to put at risk his preparation for defending his title at the world road championships later this month.

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Gilbert said it was not in his plans to complete the three-week race. He climbed off after 54 kilometers of the 224.9-km stage that was won solo by Alexandre Geniez (FDJ).


“It was extremely cold the day before and I was still a little bit cold this morning, so I didn’t want to risk anything for the worlds,” Gilbert said. “I also decided before (starting the Vuelta) that I was only doing two weeks – and if it was perfect, a little bit more. So it’s not a surprise for me and the team.”

Gilbert said his form improved daily at the Vuelta as he recovered from a crash at the Eneco Tour of Benelux that badly cut his left knee, requiring stitches.

“At first I was happy to start in the Vuelta because my knee was not the best,” he said. “I took all the chances I could get. I got a second (on Stage 7) and a first (on Stage 12), so it’s not bad. Now I wish all the guys the best in the last week.”

Gilbert has announced he will start GP de Wallonie on Sept. 18 in advance of the world road race on Sept. 29 in Tuscany, Italy.


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