Gilbert changes race schedule to add Volta ao Algarve

Philippe Gilbert has decided to amend his race programme, including the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal on his list of preparation races for the Spring Classics.

The leader of the Omega Pharma-Lotto team has been competing in the Mallorca Challenge this week, but felt he still lacked the form he built up in the Tour of Qatar and Oman in the last few years. Even though he tested himself several times on the hilly courses in Mallorca, the Belgian was not satisfied with his current form.

"I felt that I still wasn't good enough," Gilbert told Het Laatste Nieuws. "My form is not bad, as I worked well during the winter, but it's not good enough yet. Not being at the Tours of Qatar and Oman has had more consequences than planned. I don't have a choice, I will race the Tour of Algarve, too, as I feel I still need more competition."

Initially, Gilbert did not plan to race between the Mallorca events and the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the first Belgian race scheduled for February 26. Now, in order to be in top shape by March when his true objectives begin, he will travel to the south of Portugal from February 16 to 20.

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