After an incredible 2017 season, where he took victory in the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold and the overall at the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, Philippe Gilbert has stated that he will focus on different targets this season.
“Flanders was a beautiful moment, but now is a thing of the past,” said Gilbert. “It’s a new season with new goals, I feel everything is in its place, so I’m going for Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix, which isn’t a secret to anyone.”
Having won the Giro di Lombardia in 2009 and 2010, Liège – Bastogne – Liège in 2011 in addition to his win in Flanders last year, it means that if he did manage to win Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix, it would mean that he would be one of only four riders to have won all five monuments. The only three riders to have achieved the feat are Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx and Roger De Vlaeminck.
“It goes without saying this won’t be easy, because you can be the strongest guy in the race and still lose it, but I’m ready to give it my best. Quick-Step Floors has an aggressive approach to races, which is also my way of racing, so things look promising.”
At 35 years of age, Gilbert is the oldest rider of the Quick Step Floors team, and at the same time one of the most decorated riders in the peloton, with a World Championship title, four Monument wins and several stages across all Grand Tours to his name, but is there any pressure on him as he prepares to kick-start what promises to be an exciting spring campaign?
“Lots of people are asking me this, but there’s no pressure at all, I don’t feel any burden whatsoever. We have a lot of quality in this group, many riders who are capable of shining and winning big races. For me, the most important thing is to know I gave everything and don’t have any regrets at the end of the day.”