After taking a record fourth victory at Amstel Gold Race, Philippe Gilbert has been forced to pull out of the remainder of the Ardennes Classics due to a tear in his right kidney. Gilbert was injured in a crash during the race and was taken to hospital on Sunday with a pain in his side.
The Belgian champion was diagnosed with a tear to his right kidney and will need to take a week of complete recovery, ruling him out of Wednesday’s Fleche Wallonne, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, on Sunday.
"When I crashed, I felt pain, but once I remounted and continued the race things became better and better and the pain disappeared. Unfortunately, after the finish, the lower back pain returned, so together with the team doctor I decided to go to the hospital for a check-up. Fortunately, it's nothing serious, and if everything goes well, in a week I will start training again,” Gilbert said in a team press release
Gilbert will remain in hospital under observation for 24 hours before he can be discharged.
Gilbert crashed with around 130 kilometres of the race remaining, along with Michael Valgren, but was quickly up and back with the peloton. He was one of several riders to react when Tiesj Benoot accelerated on the Kruisberg. The group was later joined by Michal Kwiatkowski, who he later rode with to the line after the Polish rider attacked on the Bemelerberg. Gilbert beat Kwiatkowski in a two-man sprint to claim his fourth victory at the Dutch one-day race.
The Amstel Gold Race win continued a superb spring campaign, which delivered a victory at the Tour of Flanders along with podium finishes at Dwars door Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem. After his victory at the Tour of Flanders, Gilbert chose to skip Paris-Roubaix in order to focus on the Ardennes Classics.
"It's one of my best years and looking behind on what I achieved makes me very happy. To be competitive in both the cobbled and the Ardennes Classics and to help the team be the best in the world brings me a lot of satisfaction. It's sad I won't be there for the remaining races of this week, because I was in great condition, but our squad is a strong one and I'm confident other good results will follow."