Belgian completes steady build-up at Paris-Nice
Philippe Gilbert will lead Omega Pharma-Lotto in Milan-Sanremo, with the Belgian team confirming its eight-man roster for the race, which will take place in Italy on Saturday.
He will be supported by fellow Belgians Jurgen Roelandts, Greg Van Avermaet, Staf Scheirlinckx and Olivier Kaisen, as well as Dutchman Michiel Elijzen, Frenchman Mickael Delage, and German Sebastian Lang.
Gilbert finished third at Milan-Sanremo in 2008, behind Fabian Cancellara (CSC) and Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas). Last year, Van Avermaet finished highest for the team, in 13th place, while Gilbert was 23rd, both in the same time, two seconds behind winner Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC).
Gilbert finished last season strongly, winning one-day events Coppa Sabatini, Paris-Tours, Giro del Piemonte, and Giro de Lombardia in October. His top finish so far this year has been seventh overall in the Tour of Qatar, with a fifth place finish in the race's second stage. He continued his build up to the major 2010 Classics at Paris-Nice last week.
Omega Pharma-Lotto Sport Director Herman Frison said Gilbert, who was one of large number of riders to withdraw from the French race's final stage on Sunday, had been content to use the seven-stage event to hone his form for his upcoming Spring objectives.
"Philippe Gilbert, our other man who could perform something, hasn't done so, due to the fact that the first part of his season ends only after Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He was better not to consume much power [here at Paris-Nice]," said Frison, according to HLN.be.
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