Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb out of Tour de France. Gilbert with patella fracture.
Day 1 of the 107th Tour de France will be a day to forget for Lotto Soudal.
Philippe Gilbert will not take the start of the third stage of the BinckBank Tour this Thursday, October 1st. Pain in his left knee, still due to his fall in the first stage of the Tour de France, forced him to retire. The priority now will be to heal completely. Participation in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix is no longer envisaged.
“I quickly got back on the bike after my crash on August 29,” explains Philippe Gilbert. "Maybe I started again too soon, but the rehab was going well, the motivation and morale were still there, and I really wanted to race. I resumed in the Tour du Luxembourg and then competed in two more one-day races, but I still felt pain. This pain became more prominent in the first stage of the BinckBank Tour. I then realized that I couldn't be at my best at the Tour of Flanders and at Paris-Roubaix. These races are even more demanding on the body, the body must be 200% ready."
Philippe Gilbert therefore returned home to Monaco, where he will follow an intensive rehabilitation program under the supervision of the medical staff of Lotto Soudal.
“My first priority is to heal completely. I still have a lot of goals in cycling, for next season certainly, but very maybe for this season as well. Hopefully a Tour of Spain participation is still playable, but that’s not yet relevant. What matters now is a full recovery. "
“Philippe has of course all our support. We took this decision together yesterday. For us it is important that he recovers completely and that he comes back to one hundred percent. The objective now will be to race in 2021 with Phil’s well-known ambition for his classics”, concludes Lotto Soudal General Manager John Lelangue.