We've unearthed yet another fantastically exclusive piece of pro-team kit on our latest trawl of popular buy-and-sell site eBay, and this time it's a 2014 Pearl Izumi BMC skinsuit that once belonged to, and is signed by, Philippe Gilbert.
Judging by the sponsor placements, we believe this to be a 2014 version of clothing manufacturer Pearl Izumi's BMC skinsuit, and this long-sleeve version boasts the black, gold and red stripes on the sleeves, collar and leg cuffs that demonstrate that Gilbert is a former Belgian time trial champion, having won that title in 2011 – the same year that he took the first of two national road race titles.
These days, of course, Gilbert's road jersey collar and cuffs boast the blue, red, green, yellow and black rainbow bands of a former world champion following his victory in the Worlds road race in 2012. Since riding for BMC – where he spent five seasons – Gilbert's ridden for Deceuninck-QuickStep and now Lotto Soudal, re-joining the team he was with for three seasons between 2009 and 2011 ahead of moving to BMC.
Gilbert has won four of cycling's five one-day Monuments, first taking Il Lombardia in 2009, and then again in 2010, followed by Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2011, the Tour of Flanders in 2017, and then Paris-Roubaix in 2019. Milan-San Remo is the one that continues to elude him, and his recent ninth place there is his best finish at the Italian race since his third place in 2011 – and third remains his best finish at Milan-San Remo, which he also scored in 2008.
At the ripe old age of 38, Gilbert nevertheless still has at least two more seasons to try to win on the Via Roma in San Remo. He appears to have let his skills against the clock wane a little in favour of ensuring that everything he does counts towards racing well at the Classics, and the Monuments, in particular. Can he win Milan-San Remo one day? Gilbert's won just about everything he's capable of winning during his illustrious career. There's little reason to think that the way that he's applied himself to past goals won't remain valid when it comes to La Classicissima; watch out for him again there in 2021 and 2022.
The US-based seller of Gilbert's skinsuit is looking for $550 (£420) for it, and they're reasonably specific when it comes to shipping destinations, so check out their listing to check whether they'll post to wherever you are if you're keen to own a piece of the history of one of professional cycling's most prolific winners.
We're constantly on the lookout for unique and rare cycling relics on eBay. If you have any suggestions or leads, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'eBay Finds' in the subject line.
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