Quick-Step Floors rider gives himself two years to complete the set

After winning the Tour of Flanders in 2017, Philippe Gilbert will set his sights on victories in Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix over the next two years as he looks to complete a full set of five Monument titles.

Now 35, Gilbert has recently signed a new two-year contract with Quick-Step Floors, and Patrick Lefevere, the general manager of the Belgian team, says his star rider will be focussed on the two spring races over the next couple of years.

“It’s not really about money, but much more about goals,” Lefevere told the Belgian Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.

“Phil signed a new two-year contract because he still gives himself up to two years to win both the Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix. Then he has the big five.”

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After speculation over the team’s future for the 2018 season, Gilbert re-signed with Quick-Step Floors until 2019, with his new contract apparently containing significant performance bonuses if he can deliver results in Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix.

“If Philippe succeeds, I suddenly lose a load of money,” Lefevere continued. “There is a fat premium, but it would make me smile. Like Gilbert, I’m also a man who loves a challenge.”

Gilbert won his first Monument at Il Lombardia in 2009 (a title which he successfully defended in 2010), then adding Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2011 and the Tour of Flanders in 2017.

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After winning the Tour of Flanders last year, Gilbert wasn’t selected for the Quick-Step Floors squad for Paris-Roubaix, having finished 52nd in his only participation in the Hell of the North in 2007. Gilbert has more experience in Milan-San Remo, twice finishing on the podium in 2008 and 2011.

If he were able to complete a full set of Monument titles Gilbert would become only the fourth rider to do so after Roger De Vlaeminck, Rik Van Looy, and Eddy Merckx, with the Quick-Step Floors rider also able to boast a World Championship road race title alongside Van Looy and Merckx.