Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) seems to be finally finding his legs, winning the sprint for ninth place in yesterday's Brabantse Pijl. Even though he was unable to follow the leaders in the race's decisive moments and couldn't repeat his second place from last year, Gilbert was happy to have found some form.
"Today was better," he told Belgian paper La Dernière Heure. "For the first time the fun on the bike has returned. That makes quite a difference!"
Since the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gilbert was suffering from muscular problems and was in a lot of pain. A rainy and cold Samyn didn't help and he was hampered all the way through Paris-Nice, where he abandoned on stage 5.
He missed out on his big spring objective, Milano-Sanremo, where he finished 23rd. "The last few days and even today I have suffered a lot. I am still not at my best."
His is now trying to make up for missed race days at all costs, even riding the KBC-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (March 31 to April 2). "It's a dangerous and nervous race. I have only done it once, but to find my form I will have to ride it."