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Gilbert hits out at cars on the course in Roma Maxima

By:
Stephen Farrand
Published:
March 09, 2014, 16:39 GMT,
Updated:
March 09, 2014, 22:45 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, March 10, 2014
Race:
Roma Maxima
Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team)

Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team)

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BMC leader takes top ten place

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was not in the mood to enjoy the spectacular finish of the Roma Maxima in the centre of historic Rome after finishing seventh amongst the sprinters after they failed to catch Alejandro Valverde on the line.

Gilbert was disappointed not to win but also angry with traffic problems at the back of the race. He was not afraid to speak out of the dangers of cars straying into the race. He also vented his frustration on Twitter, writing:"After a technical problem I was racing on the open road with a lot of trafic to come back then my saddle was broken but I stil smile!"

"No doubt cycling is the must dangerous sport in the world."

"It was a real amateur race," Gilbert told Cyclingnews after taking a drink.

"I had a problem with my bike and I was with Chris Sutton and another guy. We were only 20 seconds behind the main group but the traffic was open and we were riding between the cars. It was very, very dangerous. I hope we never see this again in cycling because it’s a real shame."

Gilbert explained that the danger occurred on the long straight Appia Antico road on the outskirts of Rome.

"We were only 15km from the finish. I had to change my bike and then I broke my saddle. I was trying to ride but it wasn't easy."

Gilbert has an under-par start to the season. He struggled to be competitive at the Tour of Oman but was third in the Classic Sud Ardèche - Souvenir Francis Delpech last weekend. Despite his frustrations at Roma Maxima, he is set to ride Tirreno-Adriatico and then Milan-San Remo.

"I felt good despite the problems and I think my form is good. I'm looking forward to Tirreno-Adriatico," he said.

 

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