Recently-crowned UCI Road World Champion Philippe Gilbert has experienced disappointment and jubilation in his first year with the BMC Racing Team. Last year’s number one-ranked rider struggled for a large part of the season but says the lessons learned in 2012 will not be repeated in the coming season.
This turbulent year is detailed in Gilbert’s second book "My Rainbow Season". The new release describes the ups and downs of 2012 following a sensational 2011 that saw the Belgian enter the history books with a sweep of the Ardennes Classics, a stage win at the Tour de France and two national titles among many others.
Gilbert made some mistakes in late 2011 which he believes caused him to struggle in the early part of 2012. His first training camp with BMC left him "dead" while failing to stipulate the use of some of his preferred equipment in his contract also caused problems, according to the 30-year-old.
"After that first team training in December 2011 I was dead," explained Gilbert to Het Nieuwsblad. "I respect the process of my bosses, but I've learned to talk.
"I'm an old rider. I'm too old to change now. I'm not interested in numbers and values. A cyclist is not a Formula 1 driver who gives all numbers of the machine to engineers after testing and then there is a solution.
"I made my switch to the BMC bike but made the error, for example of not including in my contract that I would ride my own saddle and pedals," said Gilbert at the launch of his new book.
Gilbert was finally able to redeem his season by winning two stages at the Vuelta a España before capturing the biggest win of his career by winning the road race at the UCI Road World Championships. The biggest goal for Gilbert has already been outlined and after starting the season at the Tour Down Under in Australia, he will concentrate on obtaining victory in the rainbow jersey at the Ardennes Classics.
"I learned more from my misfortune [this year] than my dream year in 2011. I’ll work towards an Ardennes Classic in the rainbow jersey [in 2013]."