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by Mark Zalewski
April 5, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Albasini wins sprint on second stage of Pais Vasco, Matthews retains lead; Jules wins Circuit Cycliste Sarthe opener; Carpenter, Winder win Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas; Flanders champ Gilbert to skip Paris-Roubaix; Naesen taking aim at Paris-Roubaix; Sinkeldam tapped for Sunweb in Paris-Roubaix; Leopold König unable to race Giro due to injury; Scheldeprijs set to honour Boonen in his final Belgian race; Keagan Girdlestone completes first race as recovery continues to go well; Chris Hoy looking to ride across Antartica; Video: Meet Sarah Hammer; Video: Ride. Run. Play. Episode 1; Video: High Country Charity Ride.
Despite saying that he was planning on racing all the Classics, including Paris-Roubaix, Philippe Gilbert and his Quick-Step Floors team have decided on a break following his win at the Tour of Flanders to prepare for the Ardennes Classics.
After hinting at wanting to race Paris-Roubaix this year, Gilbert and his team decided a break is the wiser play ahead of the Ardennes Classics.
“Paris-Roubaix has a magnetic attraction on me, but I won’t be there this year. I need to take a break, recover properly and then begin thinking of the Ardennes, where I’ll be part of a very strong team, together with Julian (Alaphilippe) and Dan (Martin),” Gilbert said.
“Besides that, I’ve only raced Roubaix once, back in 2007, and for a race like that you need experience. Tom needs all the support he can get in his final attempt there, as a strong team is a very important factor in Paris-Roubaix, and I wish him all the best.”
“Immediately after his splendid Flanders win, the temptation of lining up Philippe at the start [of Paris-Roubaix] was big, especially as he too was thinking of this,” said Patrick Lefevere. “But we sat down, thought this through and decided it’s better for him to rest a bit and then return to training for the Ardennes campaign, where his experience and power will be very helpful.”
Gilbert’s next race will be Brabantse Pijl on 12 April, a race he has won twice.