Jerome Gilbert, younger brother of Philippe Gilbert, has signed with the Belgian Professional Continental team Accent.Jobs-Willems Veranda's for the rest of this year. He is expected to make his debut with the team at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
In fact, the two Gilbert brothers did a recon ride on the Liege-Bastogne-Liege course on Thursday morning.
Gilbert, 28, had originally signed to ride with the Belgian-Algerian Continental-ranked team Geofco-Ville d'Alger, but was not able to do so due to administrative problems. He then signed with the Continental-ranked Willems Veranda's-CC Chevigny.
Team manager Thierry Eeckman said that they had wanted to sign Gilbert earlier in the year, but “we already had 18 riders and our budget was full,” he told the Belga news agency. “We now have more funding and are happy to sign Philippe's younger brother. Jerome is obviously important for publicity purposes, but also strengthens us in sporting terms.
“It is intended that he will have the role of domestique and 'jack of all trades'.”
The team hopes to have him at the start in Liege on Sunday, April 22. “We will file the necessary papers with the UCI today. I hope that everything moves quickly enough in Switzerland so that Jerome can wear our jersey in action during La Doyenne.”