TechPowered By

More tech

Tour de France finish in Liege said to be changed for Gilbert

By:
Cycling News
Published:
September 18, 2011, 12:02 BST,
Updated:
September 18, 2011, 13:18 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, September 18, 2011
A focused Philippe Gilbert awaits the start of his time trial.

A focused Philippe Gilbert awaits the start of his time trial.

view thumbnail gallery

Harder finish could give Belgian victory chances

The Tour de France has changed the finish of the first stage of the 2012 Tour in Liege, making it harder in an apparent attempt to attract Philippe Gilbert to the race. The Belgian had previously criticised the course, saying it would lead to a mass sprint and nothing for him.

In consultation with representatives from the Province of Liege, the Amaury Sport Organisation has now changed the course, according to Belgian media sources. The stage would now finish at the  Avenue du Centenaire instead of at the Val-Saint-Lambert crystal factory.

In May, Gilbert, now with Omega Pharma-Lotto, said that he was "very disappointed with the parcours" and that he might not even ride the Tour.

Now, he has told RTBF that if the change is confirmed, it would be great news and a motivation for him. He would expect to lose time in the prologue, but thought that he could make it up on a more difficult first stage and take the yellow jersey in his homeland.

Gilbert has been the dominant rider this season, winning amongst others, La Fleche Wallonne, Amstel Gold Race, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the first stage of the Tour de France, and both national titles. He will ride for BMC Racing Team as of  2012.

Back to top