2010: The Classics for Gilbert

Silence-Lotto's Belgian leader continues focus on one-day races

Confirming to Cyclingnews that next year's Tour de France will not be an option for him, Philippe Gilbert said that he will continue to focus on the Classics and one-day races at Silence-Lotto in 2010. The Belgian, who had an enormously successful end-of-season with wins at Paris-Tours and the Giro di Lombardia, will target the Spring and Autumn Classics in 2010, as well as the World Championships in Geelong, Australia.

Even though a detailed race programme has not yet been elaborated, Gilbert already knows that he will not participate in the Tour, but instead race the Vuelta a España as preparation for the end of the season. "The Vuelta is planned, yes," he told Cyclingnews on Thursday. The World Championships, as well as the Coppa Sabatini, Paris-Tours, the Giro del Piemonte and the Giro di Lombardia will then be marked red on his calendar to round out a season he hopes will have already brought success.

Gilbert also wished teammate Cadel Evans farewell, as the Australian heads to BMC next season. "For me, his departure is a pity because we got on well and worked well together. I wish him a lot of success and that everything unfolds the way he wants," the Belgian said, not revealing whether Silence-Lotto was planning to recruit another Grand Tour rider for next year.

Gilbert also denied a rumour that he also wanted to leave the squad. "I don't know anything about that, no," he replied when asked if it was true. Gilbert may thus be Silence-Lotto's greatest asset next year in an outfit that will focus on winning one-day events as opposed to stage races - if the team does not come up with a surprise signing, as speculated by Belgian media.

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