Philippe Gilbert returns to Lotto Soudal with three-year contract
Aug 19 2019 11:27 pm CET

Philippe Gilbert returns to Lotto Soudal with three-year contract
Philippe Gilbert returns to Lotto Soudal with three-year contract
Photo of Philippe Gilbert © Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

Philippe Gilbert is returning to Lotto Soudal in 2020 and with a three-year contract.

The Belgian rider stepped up to the WorldTour in 2009 with the team that is known nowadays as Lotto Soudal. After three seasons in Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Gilbert has decided to return to the team in which he took his first big victories like Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Il Lombardia, the Amstel Gold Race and one stage in the 2011 Tour de France.

"I still wanted to race, without any doubt," said the rider. "When I learned that I could prolong at my current team for only one year, it was clear to me that I wanted to change. The clearest interest and project was the one of Lotto Soudal. Of course, I know the team, a lot of riders and staff are no strangers to me, I know the spirit and I will again be part of a Belgian project.

"I am very happy that we reached an agreement quite quickly. I know John Lelangue from my period at BMC as a person who highly values organisation and discipline. I achieved my first big successes together with sports manager Marc Sergeant. Primarily, my goals are to be found in the one-day races and the big Classics. Lotto Soudal gets stronger and stronger, we need to fight against the absolute top teams, not by expressing big ambitions beforehand, but by getting results."

Gilbert looks forward to new challenges and to working with new teammates. "The past few years, I watched the team from outside and I think they maybe lacked a real leader in those races," he commented. "I want to try to lift the team to a higher level, by performing myself but also by making other riders better.

"It gives me just as much pleasure if they would show themselves important or if they would be able to win. I know a couple of guys from the national team, others like Wellens and Ewan live nearby. Maxime Monfort and I almost have the same age and I have been racing against some others for several years."

The former World Champion also talked about the secrets of staying at a good level at 37. "Discipline and joy are the key factors to stay a pro cyclist for so long," Gilbert explained. "I still leave for training at the same hour, I do what I have to do, I don’t skip training rides... That and a strong body help to stay competitive at a high level.

"At the BinckBank Tour, the Vuelta, the World Championships and the Tour of Lombardy, I want to conclude my time at Deceuninck-Quick-Step as good as possible, preferably with a victory."
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PHILIPPE GILBERT
LOTTO SOUDAL





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