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World road champion Philippe Gilbert cruised comfortably in the peloton during the 64-minute race. (© Sirotti.)
World road champion Philippe Gilbert cruised comfortably in the peloton during the 64-minute race. (© Sirotti.)

Smooth Start In Season Opener

20. January 2013

The BMC Racing Team and reigning world road champion Philippe Gilbert rolled out to a smooth start Sunday in the season-opening race, the People's Choice Classic – the prelude to Tuesday's Santos Tour Down Under.

A Good Warm-Up
Gilbert said it was nice to be back racing, even if the 30-lap race through the streets of Adelaide did not count toward any official classification. "It was a nice to spin the legs with a high cadence," Gilbert said. "The feeling was good. That's the most important news of the day. I think the legs are good and I'm really confident." André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) out-sprinted Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) to take the win. A two-man breakaway of Zak Dempster (UniSA) and Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) enjoyed as much as a minute's lead at one point, but was caught with nine laps to go. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said he told the team's seven riders not to take any risks. "For us, it was just really just a warm-up before the Tour Down Under," Baldato said. "The plan for Monday is to ride an easy two hours. They did a good job of training during the week and they're ready to the race. Phil is motivated and we'll surround him and hope for a good result."

Click here to listen to complete comments from Gilbert and Baldato on the BMC Racing Team AudioLine.