BMC Racing Team today announced that Philippe Gilbert will not line up at Liège-Bastogne-Liège as intended.
BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr Max Testa provided the following update.
“After evaluating Philippe’s condition today, including his fitness level and the pain from his fractured finger, we agree that it is in his best interests to skip Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” Dr Testa said.
“In Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne he hasn’t been able to sit straight on the bike which has caused some back issues and early onset fatigue on the bike. After discussing with Philippe and team management we all agree that it is in his best interest to focus on his recovery before the Giro d’Italia which is only two weeks away. Realistically it doesn’t make any sense to take the risk of a crash or worsening of his back pain on Sunday.”
Although disappointed, Gilbert agrees that it is the best decision.
“The pain from my fractured finger and the side effects this creates, including changing my position and being twisted on the bike, means it’s not comfortable to ride, let alone race at this intensity,” Gilbert said.
“After giving it a go in Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne, I have to be realistic and focus on my recovery and getting back in shape for the Giro d’Italia. I can’t race to the best of my ability or even help the team, so I’ll head home to Monaco and recover well in the good weather and be back on my usual training schedule as soon as possible.”
Joey Rosskopf will replace Gilbert in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège team.
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