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Gilbert misses Omloop Het Nieuwsblad recon ride

Philippe Gilbert guides his Omega Pharma-Lotto troops

Philippe Gilbert guides his Omega Pharma-Lotto troops (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Omega Pharma-Lotto will be among those out testing the course for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Wednesday, but it will be there without its captain Philippe Gilbert. The Belgian has been caught up in a French air traffic controllers' strike and couldn't fly out of Monaco to join his teammates.

“Philippe would normally today from Monaco to Belgium, “ the team said in a press release issued on Tuesday night, “but the strike by French air traffic controllers made this impossible. There are a whole series of flights cancelled and Philippe could not arrive in Belgium.”

The 27-year -old will now remain at his home in Monaco to train, and expects to join the team on Thursday – if the air traffic controllers co-operate.

Gilbert has won the Belgian semi-Classic on two occasions during his tenure with former squad, Française des Jeux.. He took his first victory at the race - then known as Omloop Het Volk - in 2006, and his second in 2008.