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Philippe Gilbert said he is on target to do well in his first "goal" race, Milan-San Remo. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Philippe Gilbert said he is on target to do well in his first "goal" race, Milan-San Remo. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Gilbert Top 20 At Haut Var

19. February 2012

Fayence, France

Ivan Santaromita figured in the main breakaway Sunday in a tough, final stage of Haut Var while Philippe Gilbert's 16th-place finish led the BMC Racing Team.

Still In Training Mode

The 205.4-kilometer race was "tricky" beginning at km 32, with many ups and downs, said BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue. "We had planned that if there was a group with more than 10 guys we had to be in it," he said. "So having Santaromita in the break was good for us." With 30 km to go, Santaromita's group was caught, but three riders remaining in the lead, which forced the BMC Racing Team to up the tempo and catch the group. The finish profile might have suited an on-form Gilbert, Lelangue said, but the Belgian national champion continues to be in training mode for the classics that begin next week. The stage was won by Jonathan Tiernan-Lock (Endura Racing), who also took the overall. Gilbert was 15th overall, 41 seconds back. "Today was a really tough day but I felt better than yesterday," Gilbert said. "My condition keeps growing and I am following my plan to get ready for my first goal of the season, Milan-San Remo."