Binche - On-form
Belgian Philippe Gilbert will miss next month's Giro d'Italia with a
kidney problem, his Quick-Step team said on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old spent two nights in hospital following his victory in
Sunday's Amstel Gold Race and has now been ordered to take two weeks of
total rest before restarting training.
"It's a big blow for me to miss the Giro, a beautiful race in which
I've enjoyed success several times in the past," said Gilbert.
"But these kind of injuries are always delicate and it's recommended
not to rush things, so extending my recovery period is the best decision
we could take."
Quick-Step had already announced on Monday that Gilbert would miss
the rest of the Ardennes classics season - which began with last
Sunday's Amstel race and concludes this coming Sunday with
Alongside compatriot Greg Van Avermaet and Poland's Michal
Kwiatkowski, whom he beat in a sprint finish for his fourth Amstel
success, Gilbert has been one of the stand-out performers during the
first few months of the season.
Two weeks ago he won one of cycling's 'Monument' races - the Tour of
Flanders - and also claimed victory at Three Days of De Panne.
He has won three stages at the Giro in the past.
This year's 100th edition of the Giro begins on May 5 in Sardinia, ending on May 28 in Milan.