Gilbert given ok for Amstel Gold Race

BMC rider to race with with fractured finger

A fractured left-middle finger won't stop Philippe Gilbert from lining at the Amstel Gold Race Sunday with the BMC rider eyeing off a fourth career win at the Ardennes classic.

Gilbert suffered his injury during an altercation with a car driver while out training in Belgium last week and was forced to miss Wednesday's De Brabantse Pijl due to his injuries.

The car driver and a passenger have disputed the BMC riders' version of events while Het Nieuwsblad reported Gilbert could face prison or fine for using some kind of illegal pepper spray in the training altercation. BMC though are backing Gilbert with the medical team clearing his return to racing for the first time since his third place at the Volta Limburg Classic.

"Gilbert has been given the medical all-clear from our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Max Testa, which is good news because Amstel Gold is a special race for both Gilbert and BMC Racing Team and we hope to continue our previous success at the race," said sports director Valerio Piva.

Gilbert won the Amstel Gold Race in 200, 2011 and 2014. He also won the 2012 world championships in Valkenburg that featured the Cauberg climb which has come to define the finale of the Netherlands WorldTour race.

Gilbert’s most recent victory was assisted by an attack on the lower slopes of the Cauberg by teammate Samuel Sanchez who will again be by the Belgian’s side on Sunday. In 2015, Gilbert again launched his familiar attack on the Cauberg, with Michael Matthews stuck to his wheel, but with a group then contesting the victory in a bunch sprint, the 33-year-old finished tenth while teammate Greg Van Avermaet was fifth.

"I've had a disrupted start to the season with illness and injury so I hope to put all of this behind me and be at the front of the race on Sunday," said Gilbert who was also forced to abandon Paris-Nice with the flu and then miss Milan-San Remo as a precaution. "I have been back on the bike in the last couple of days and put in a long session today (Wednesday) so I'm confident that I'll be in a good shape to race."

Gilbert’s ambitions will be aided by Ben Harmans and Alessandro De Marchi while Loïc Vliegen, who was also involved in the altercation with Gilbert, will start the race for the first time in career after top ten results at both De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne and Volta Limburg Classic this month.

Marcus Burghardt, Silvan Dillier and Dylan Teuns complete the roster for the 248km race that starts in the Dutch city of Maastricht.

BMC Racing for the Amstel Gold Race: Marcus Burghardt (GER), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Samuel Sanchez (ESP), Dylan Teuns (BEL) and Loïc Vliegen (BEL).

To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here

Related Articles

Back to top