Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has said that he does not intend to ride at the cobbled classics in 2015, after being reported as saying in October that he aimed to lead a team at both Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.
“I had an interview and I said that I would like to go again there [to the cobbled classics] but I never said it was 2015,” said the former world champion.
“I meant one day I will go, but everyone took it like next year I will go, but maybe they can not translate or see what I say. It was a big mistake from some people, but sure I would like to go again, but I am not finishing my career next year.”
The intial story of Gilbert’s intention to appear at the Flemish classics next year appeared to be bad news for BMC teammate Greg van Avermaet, who led the team this year on the cobbles, saying that it was “not nice to hear” that his compatriot was planning on leading the team in 2015.
In fact, Gilbert claims that he will be focusing on the first monument of the season, Milan-San Remo, as his main aim. Since the organisers dropped the Pompeiana climb from the course of La Classicissima, the BMC rider believes the new parcours are perfect for his punchy style of riding.
“I would really like to do well in San Remo,” he said, “now they fixed the parcours, it’s back on the old course.
“[San remo] could have a solo winner, when there is a head wind on the Poggio, it is very hard to go fast on this climb.”
Gilbert’s best finish in the Italian classic is third place, which he achieved twice in 2008 and 2011, but he said he would also be looking to a further monument win in the Ardennes classics, with a second career victory at the prestigious Liége-Bastogne-Liége in mind.
He said: “I always have more success in Amstel Gold (which he has won three times), but my dream is Liége-Bastogne-Liége.
“It is better if I can win Liége.”