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"More important than the win was that my feeling was good on the bike and that was the biggest news of the day for me. I didn't have pain the last week in training. But training is always different than a race."





22.07.2015 @ 23:01 Posted by Andy Pedersen

BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert won his first race back from injury Wednesday by out-sprinting the likes of Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) and Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step) at Grand Prix Cerami. Winner of two stages of the Giro d'Italia in May, Gilbert had been sidelined from competition since withdrawing from the Tour de Suisse on June 16.


An MRI performed between the Giro and the Tour de Suisse had revealed a small, non-displaced fracture on Gilbert's lower right leg. But on Wednesday, the former world road champion said he felt no pain during the 211.5-kilometer race.


"More important than the win was that my feeling was good on the bike and that was the biggest news of the day for me," Gilbert said. "I didn't have pain the last week in training. But training is always different than a race. So for me, this is very good news for the next month."


Gilbert's win was the BMC Racing Team's 20th of the season. He and teammates Dylan Teuns and Loïc Vliegen were part of a 42-rider group that escaped in a hilly part of the race after about 40 kilometers. From that selection, five riders went on the attack before the last of three laps of a 13.2-km finishing circuit.


"Dylan and Loïc did a very good job to help close the gap on that breakaway," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Valerio Piva said.

Gilbert took the win ahead of Van Poppel, with Tom Devrient (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) in third. Boonen was fourth and Sébastian Turgot (Ag2r La Mondiale) finished fifth.


"It was a difficult race with a lot of breakaways," Gilbert said "I could always go with the best. In the end, Loïc Vliegen and Dylan Teuns were great with Lotto Soudal and LottoNL. We got back in the last kilometers. It was close but it was enough. I started with 350 or 400 meters to go to close a gap and then I waited for the last 100 meters as we almost had a full headwind.


"It's always nice to win. The motivation and desire are better than my body and it worked for me. My knee problems belong to the past. Now I want to recover well for the Tour de Wallonie because it was a tough day. "

Gilbert said the victory was extra special for him, coming in the race named for Giuseppe "Pino" Cerami. A classics specialist and the oldest rider to win a stage of the Tour de France (at age 41), Cerami died last September at the age of 92.


"Pino was one of the first big stars of Wallonie, so I am very proud to have my name on the list of the winners of this race," Gilbert said.


"I joined the break afte twenty kilometres," Vliegen told Directvelo. "The final was hard for me. In the last lap, I gave everything to catch the front group. Two or three kilometres from the finish, I was dropped because I was cooked. We were able to give him the victory. I'm really happy: Philippe was strong. It's all good before the Tour de Wallonie."



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