Gilbert wants sole leadership for world championships defence

Defending Road World Champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) is yet to win a race in 2013, but the Belgian says that he won't be riding for anyone else come September 29.

In an interview with, Gilbert said: "I certainly do not want to work for someone else… It's such a nice course I want to try it for myself."

Gilbert is currently working on building his form at the Vuelta a Espana and he will be bet this week by national coach Carlos Bomans to discuss his thoughts on the world championship course.

Earlier this week, Gilbert earned his ninth podium for the season finishing runner-up to Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) on Stage 7. Asked by Nieuwsblad if Gilbert's current form was enough to earn him the title of leader of the Belgian team, Bomans would not say.

"He is getting better," he admitted. "In difficult circumstances. With that knee injury, racing the Vuelta is not easy. "

Gilbert was forced out of the Eneco Tour late last month following a crash which left the 31-year-old with stitches in his left knee.

Gilbert's lead in to his world championship victory in 2012 was also light-on in terms of results, winning two stages of the Vuelta before his victory on the Valkenburg circuit. He said there is no reason to think that this year is any different.

"Three weeks in Spain will give me freshness that will come in handy at the world championships," he said.

Belgium has qualified for seven riders in the men's road race.

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