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.
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“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.”
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.”
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.