Without a single win to his name this year, it is safe to assert that Philippe Gilbert's much-talked about transfer to BMC at the end of last season has so far failed to work out as expected. After a stellar season in 2011 in which he swept up high profile victories and the Velo d'Or award, Gilbert has endured a miserable time on the road this year.
A huge star back in his native Belgium, the 29-year-old has experienced the highs of lows of being an icon over the last 12 months or so. And it appears that the strain of it all is starting to take its toll after he took aim at the Belgian media in the French newspapers this week. Gilbert is currently in France riding in the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he lies in 20th position after two stages and the prologue.
"The Belgian press is hard for athletes," Gilbert is quoted in Sporza as saying. "They can build you up to the sky and then afterwards they discount you when you drop. There is no compassion. For my family it is sometimes difficult."