Philippe Gilbert will depart BMC Racing after signing a contract with Belgian team Etixx-Quick Step. He becomes the fifth signing of the squad, following on from neo-pros Rémi Cavagna, Enric Mas and Maximilian Schachmann, who arrive from Klein Constantia, and the signing of Dries Devenyns.

In addition to winning the World Road Race Championships in Valkenburg in 2012, Gilbert has also taken numerous classic wins including the Giro di Lombardia in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, he became only the second rider in history to complete the Ardennes Triple in the same year by winning Liège–Bastogne–Liège, La Flèche Wallonne and Amstel Gold.

Other big victories included Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Strade Bianche aswell as a number of stage races, such as the Tour of Belgium and the Tour of Beijing.

Gilbert – a stage winner in all three Grand Tours – explained why he signed with Etixx – Quick-Step for next year: “I was in contact with Patrick since my U23 spell and now I finally have the chance to ride here. I’m excited to continue my career together with Etixx – Quick-Step, a team whose ethos and aggressive style of racing are very much to my liking.”

“I want to thank my former team for the time spent together and wish them all the best, but now the moment has come for a new chapter in my career. I’m looking forward to next season and I hope to be competitive and bring my contribution and experience to the Classics and to the other important races the team will target.”

Patrick Lefevere, the team’s CEO outlined the qualities that he feels Gilbert can bring to the team.

“Philippe is one of the most talented riders in the peloton and will be an important addition to our roster,” said Lefevere. “A prolific and intelligent rider, he brings experience, panache and quality, as well as depth to the Classics squad. He still has hunger and motivation, which I’m sure will help him thrive next season, when he’ll wear the kit of Etixx – Quick-Step. We are very happy to add a rider of his caliber to our team for 2017.”



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