Gilbert: Winning the five Monuments is still my motivation

11 January 2019 11:00
Twelve months ago, Philippe Gilbert made a splash as he rolled out 'Strive For Five' - a neat new slogan designed to build excitement around his quest to complete the full set of cycling's five Monuments. This year, as Deceuninck-Quick-Step gathered in Calpe for their traditional team presentation on Wednesday, the messaging was conspicuous by its absence.  "We decided to stop using that in our communications," Gilbert said with a slightly embarrassed laugh. "But the idea behind it remains." Gilbert's quest to become only the fourth rider in history to win all five Monuments was ignited by his victory at the 2017 Tour of Flanders in what was a storming Classics campaign on his return to the cobbles and his first season in QuickStep blue. Having won Liège-Bastogne-Liège - twice - and Il Lombardia, suddenly the only two he needed were Milan-San Remo - where he has twice finished on the podium - and Paris-Roubaix.ADVERTISEMENT Yet, 2018 saw the momentum fade from his quest. He was 75th and out of the picture at Milan-San Remo, while he was 15th on what was only his second appearance at Paris-Roubaix. With his 36th birthday also ticking by, the measure of the challenge has not escaped him.  "I know it's complicated. There's one chance that happens, and many chances that don't. But, still, it's my motivation," Gilbert insisted. Whereas 2017 saw Gilbert win Flanders with an astonishing long-range solo, as well as winning Amstel Gold Race and the Three Days of De Panne, 2018 was the spring of his teammate Niki Terpstra. The Dutchman made his moves early and soloed to victory at Le Samyn, E3-Harelbeke, and the Tour of Flanders. Gilbert, who was forced into more of a watching brief in the group behind, finished on the podium in all three. The goals for 2019 Contract year You can read more at . read full article

Source: Cycling News