Sergeant admits it will be hard to keep Gilbert

WorldTour leader too expensive for Belgian teams?

Philippe Gilbert probably won't ride for a Belgian team next year, his current team manager Marc Sergeant said. The current WorldTour leader will be too expensive to keep, according to Segeant, who signed Gilbert from FJD in 2008.

Omega Pharma and Lotto are parting ways at the end of this season, with each wanting to continue sponsorship of its own team.  "I do not think there is money to pay him," Sergent told Het Laatste Nieuws.

"That money would probably have been there if the sponsors could have remained together. Gilbert is the Contador of one-day races. He has reached a point where he can earn really big money."

"The logical step is for a lot of money to secure his future."

Gilbert's wins this season in Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege drove up his value, Sergeant said.  He debated where the Belgian might sign.

“Quick-Step? I wonder if Patrick Lefevere can afford Gilbert,” he said, referring to the rival Belgian team.

"I understand that Team Sky wants Gilbert. Sky is a global player and Philippe speaks the language."


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