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Philippe Gilbert (seen here signing an autograph at Vuelta al Pais Vasco) could not contest the bunch sprint after being involved in a crash. (Photo by Andrea Agostini, BMC Racing Team.)
Philippe Gilbert (seen here signing an autograph at Vuelta al Pais Vasco) could not contest the bunch sprint after being involved in a crash. (Photo by Andrea Agostini, BMC Racing Team.)

Gilbert Dons Mountains Jersey At Picardie

16. maggio 2014

BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert made the most of his time in a four-man breakaway Friday at the Tour de Picardie, earning the king of the mountains jersey on the race's opening stage.

Four Involved In Crash
But not everything went well for the past world road champion in the 191-kilometer race. Gilbert and teammates Marcus Burghardt, Steve Cummings and Klaas Lodewyck were involved in a crash inside the last 10 kilometers, just after Gilbert's group was caught. None of the four have serious injuries, BMC Racing Team Doctor Scott Major said. Gilbert said he tumbled head-first over his handlebars and was unable to contest the bunch sprint won by Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar) ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) and Ramon Sinkeldam (Team Giant-Shimano). "With six or seven kilometers to go, it was pretty nervous," Gilbert said. "Danilo Napolitano (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) touched the wheel of the guy in front of him and crashed. I was one of the first guys behind him so I tried to jump over his bike but couldn't make it. I had to chase hard through the cars and only came back in the last kilometer." Gilbert took the jersey by winning the day's only king of the mountain sprint ahead of his fellow escapees: Tim DeClercq (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Christophe LaPorte (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) and Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the BMC Racing Team will continue to take an aggressive approach on the race's final two days. "We don't have a leader here, so I  spoke with the guys and told them if they had a chance to go in the breakaway to go for it and take bonifications," Ledanois said. "Philippe did that today and got the jersey so it was not all a bad day."