Philippe Gilbert's Tour de France hopes ended by leg fracture diagnosis

After being diagnosed with a fractured tibia, Philippe Gilbert will not be considered to ride this year's Tour de France

Philippe Gilbert at the Giro d'Italia (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

On Monday Philippe Gilbert was bemoaning the fact that his BMC team hadn't informed him if he'd be riding at the Tour de France or not, but by Tuesday he had closure with x-rays confirming he has fractured his tibia.

Gilbert's team believe it is a result of his heavy crash at La Fleche Wallonne in April, since when the Belgian has won two stages at the Giro d'Italia.

The 2012 World Champion hoped that his form in Italy would be enough to secure him a Tour place, but the diagnosis has ruled him out of contention for the BMC team in France.

"The MRI showed a small fracture of the postero-lateral tibia head," Dr. Testa said on the BMC website. "The fracture is small, and not involving the joint articular surface and the injury is not worrisome for his cycling career.

"Philippe had no particular pain on the bike. But he had been complaining of knee discomfort, especially off of it, and especially going up and down stairs. So we decided to look into it."

Gilbert has been racing at the Tour de Suisse but withdrew before the start of Tuesday's stage four after receiving the diagnosis.

Team manager Jim Ochowicz confirmed that he and Gilbert had mutually agreed that the 32-year-old would not ride this year's Tour, a race in which Gilbert felt he could have performed well.

"I was motivated for the Tour because it is going to pass in a part of Belgium and there is also the nice finish on the Mur de Huy," he said. "But the Tour de France is every year. It is not like I am missing something like the Olympic Games.

"So every year you have a chance to do it and I have already done it a few times and have had a lot of success at this race already."

Ochowicz will announce his nine-man Tour de France squad after the Tour de Suisse, according to the BMC website, which finishes on Sunday.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.