World Champion frustrated by questions over Evans, van Garderen
Philippe Gilbert (BMC) had the chance to go on the offensive on Tuesday's 16th stage of the Tour de France, but finishing eighth across the finish line in gap, the Belgian was somewhat disappointed.
Gilbert, along with teammate Manuel Quinziato made the 26-man breakaway from which Rui Costa (Movistar) eventually attacked for the stage win. It was a position that World Champion Gilbert was only able to be in with team leader Cadel Evans definitively out of contention for the general classification's top 10.
"But with an eighth place today I'm not happy," Gilbert told Sporza. “This was a missed opportunity."
The topic of the change of tactics from BMC irked Gilbert.
"I've had enough questions about Evans and Van Garderen," he stated. "Our tactics have changed, yes. The race is like that now. It was nice to spend a day at the front and this is the main thing. "
Gilbert said he was not surprised to see Costa attack on the Col de Manse and go on to win the stage.
"The tailwind we had all day made it hard racing, especially on the climb," Gilbert said. "I knew Costa was the rider to follow because without the incident on Stage 13 where his teammate, Alejandro Valverde, lost time, he would have been up there with the top contenders."
Gilbert crossed the finish line 1:04 in arrears of Costa, leading home a group of seven of his original breakaway companions.
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