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Gilbert has the confidence and condition he needs for successful 2012

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 6, 2012, 14:01,
Updated:
January 6, 2012, 14:12
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, January 7, 2012
Belgian Champion Philippe Gilbert waves to fans

Belgian Champion Philippe Gilbert waves to fans

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BMC rider looking forward to Tour de France with “relaxed” Evans

Philippe Gilbert is going into the 2012 season knowing “that I will have the support and condition it takes to do a good performance.” The Belgian said he won't worry about winning any particular races, and is looking forward to riding the Tour de France with defending champion and BMC Racing teammate Cadel Evans.

At the top of his wish list for this season is not the victory in any particular race, but “to not have any bad crashes or to get sick. If I can avoid those things, I will be on my way to good results,” he said on the BMC website.

He won't put pressure on himself in terms of choosing which races he wants to win. “It's difficult to hope to win this race or that race. I don't need the extra pressure because I will start most of the Classics as one of the favourites. Instead, I will just hope to do my best and be as prepared as possible."

Gilbert, who finished the 2011 season as the top ranked rider, will hook up again with Evans, with whom he rode for Silence-Lotto in 2009.  "Already I knew Cadel Evans from being teammates with him before.” he said. “But I can feel he is different now. He's more relaxed. He's won the Tour already and it's not the same Cadel as I knew from 2009.

“But he's still very professional and very focused, and being next to him at the start of the Tour de France will be something very special."

The 29-year-old is going into 2012 just wanting “to do my best. I don't think about winning. I always have the same motivation and goals whether I have won a race or not. I will start every race like I have never won it, whether I have won it before or not."