Will Philippe Gilbert return to Lotto in 2017?

Philippe Gilbert's contract at BMC expires at the end of 2016 and Lotto-Soudal manager Marc Sergeant may try to recruit his former rider

As his illustrious career reaches its twilight, Philippe Gilbert is reportedly considering a move back to the Lotto team when his contract at BMC expires at the end of 2016.

The Belgian rode for Lotto-Silence and Omega Pharma-Lotto for three seasons between 2009 and 2011, completing the unprecedented Ardennes Classics treble in his final year before moving to BMC.

Turning 34 in July next year, Gilbert’s star in the Classics is not as bright now as it was back in his Lotto days, and Lotto-Soudal manager Marc Sergeant has not ruled out trying to tempt the Liege native back in 2017.

“Nothing is impossible,” Sergeant told Het Nieuwsblad. “Philippe has always said that he wants to close his career with the team where he has achieved the most success.

“In Richmond,  Philippe and I talked. ‘Of all the people with whom I have worked’, he said to me, ‘you were those who understood me the best.'”

While the 2012 UCI world champion currently demands a salary in the region of €3m, Sergeant is confident that Gilbert would not expect such money if he were to leave BMC in his late career.