Philippe Gilbert: I dream of winning Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix
Nov 15 2017 01:02 am CET

Philippe Gilbert: I dream of winning Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix
Philippe Gilbert: I dream of winning Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix


Quick-Step Floors' Philippe Gilbert has his eye on another couple of wins before retiring from the sport and that will be his main goal for the 2018 season.

Gilbert moved to the Belgian team with the objective of winning Classics again after a phase at BMC that didn't give the expected results. "First thing that I can tell you now when I look back on my 2017 season is that I'm happy for taking the right decision last year when I chose Quick-Step Floors," he said.

"I knew that the experience and strength of the team would help me in the Classics. I was relaxed in the winter, trained hard and all this work put me in a good position to start the season, for which I was highly motivated."

2018 was a successful year for the rider in which he took the victories at the Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race. "The Tour of Flanders was a huge goal for me, I'd been talking about it for months," Gilbert explained. "It's one of the biggest and most important races on the calendar and I always dreamt of winning it. My team was fantastic on that day, protecting me from the start and then instigating that decisive move on the Muur-Kapelmuur. You never win such a race alone, that's why my teammates deserve praise, that victory wouldn't have been possible without their help.

"Two weeks later, I lined up for Amstel Gold Race, without having a clue about how hard and emotional that day would be. I knew I had the legs to win, but then that crash happened with 100 kilometres to go.

"It was a hard moment, and my first thought was that my race or even my season was over. It was painful, but again with the help of the team I returned to the bunch and got in the upper part of the peloton just before the race was split into pieces. Winning after this roller coaster, after some of the most intense 100 kilometres of my career, on such an unpredictable course, was really emotional and energy-draining."

For the 2018 season, the 35-year-old rider already has clear objectives. "Spring is my favourite part of the season, so it's a no-brainer that I will focus once again on the one-day races," he commented. "Everybody knows that I dream of winning Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix and completing my palmares with these two Monuments; having them in my sights gives me a fresh motivation, but it won't be only about these races, as I want to be competitive in all the Classics.

"I've been very successful in the Classics over the years and if I will win another one before bowing out from the sport, I will be happy. If not, I'll just take things as they come. Even if I don't win all the Monuments, I want to know that I tried and when the time will come, to quit cycling without any regrets."
Photo of Philippe Gilbert (cropped) © BrakeThrough Media



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