Gilbert locked in legal battle for 2011 bonuses

Omega Pharma persue counter claim for a severance fee

World champion Philippe Gilbert spent a reported seven hours in a legal hearing in Geneva on Monday as his lawyers tried to reach an agreement with his former Omega Pharma-Lotto team about bonuses and the termination of his contract.

Gilbert joined the BMC Racing Team in 2012 after Omega Pharma and Lotto split to form two different teams. Omega Pharma teamed up with Patrick Lefevere, while Lotto joined forces with Belisol and team manager Marc Sergeant.

Gilbert dominated the Classics in 2011 winning the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Clasica San Sebastian and Il Lombardia. He also ended the year as a leader in the UCI World Tour ranking.

Gilbert claims the Omega Pharma-Lotto management company Belgian Cycling Company owes him bonuses of close to one million Euro. The team claims that Gilbert had a contract with the team for 2012 and so deserves a severance payment.

"We demand more from him than he demanded of us," Walter Van Steenbrugge, the lawyer defending the interests of Omega Pharma told the Belgian De Standard newspaper. There was no reaction from Gilbert, who stayed on Switzerland to attend the UCI stakeholders meeting.

It is not clear when a final verdict in the dispute will reached.

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