Philippe Gilbert has confirmed his revised racing schedule as he looks to become only the fourth rider in history to win all five Monuments.
The 37-year-old will line-up at Strade Bianche on August 1, the first WorldTour event back after the coronavirus pandemic halted the 2020 racing calendar.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
Then, on August 5, he will ride Milan-Turn in preparation for Milan – San Remo three days later.
While the Italian one-day Classic forms the primary objective of Gilbert’s season, he will take part in seven other races in the autumn, heading back to Belgium for the Tour de Wallonie on August 16.
The only Grand Tour he will ride is the Tour de France, the 2020 edition being his 10th appearance at the race.
October holds a number of one-day races for Gilbert, starting off with Liège-Bastogne-Liège on October 4, followed by De Brabantse Pijl on October 7 and the Amstel Gold Race on October 10.
Gilbert will end his 2020 with two Monuments he has already won, with the Tour of Flanders on October 18 and Paris-Roubaix on October 25, where he will be defending his 2019 title.
The Lotto-Soudal rider has had an eventful coronavirus pandemic, first getting fined for breaking Monaco’s lockdown rules by riding outside in April, before initiating a flurry of KoM attempts on Liège-Bastogne-Liège’s La Redoute climb.
Gilbert said he had intended to ride laps of an 11-kilometre loop but was issued a €100 (£87) fine for violating the quarantine rules. Authorities in Monaco and France had banned outdoor riding in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus, with the dozens of pros who live in the area forced to find other ways to maintain their form.
“Every citizen is equal before the law,” Gilbert said at the time. “Just because I won Paris-Roubaix last year doesn’t mean I have more rights than another person. As a public figure, we must lead by example.”
Then in June, while out filming a documentary, Gilbert’s brother challenged him to try and take the Strava KoM up La Redoute. The Belgian lopped 17 seconds off Romain Bardet’s previous best time, but now at least seven riders have gone even faster as the peloton gets its competitive juices flowing once more, with the return of racing just around the corner.