Cycling

Gilbert: I still believe the Classics will take place this season

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Lotto Soudal kit 2020 - Philippe Gilbert

Image credit: Eurosport

ByAlexander Netherton
29/03/2020 at 14:07 | Updated 29/03/2020 at 14:53

Lotto-Soudal's new rider Philippe Gilbert still believe the Classics will be raced at some point this season despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Gent-Wevelgem was due to take place this weekend, but is just one of many events in cycling and across sport that have been pushed back or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with Cyclingnews, Gilbert was optimistic the Classics would eventually take place this season.

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"It's not easy, but I think that the Classics will happen, just later in the year and in a different way," Gilbert said.

The Belgian was speaking shortly after his team confirmed that the riders in Lotto-Soudal would take a pay-cut in order to help the team survive.

Gilbert also admitted that it was difficult for the riders to maintain their performance levels without regular racing.

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"For riders it's hard because we obviously had all that momentum and we'd worked so hard. I was physically ready and after Paris-Nice I did my best training. I was ready for a great Milan-San Remo and the other races."

Despite the strange circumstances, Gilbert hopes that the second half of the season will see many races take place, but acknowledges the uncertain outlook for cycling.

"It's going to be different but beautiful. It's hard to say when we can race again. Of course I hope it's as soon as possible. The world is crazy at the moment and it's hard to predict anything," he stated.

"It could be really intense when we start again, and that's going to hard for the riders with little rest in between. We could have Monuments every weekend but honestly I'm used to that having raced from Harelbeke to Liege in the last few years. When racing starts again hopefully we can return to normal."

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CyclingPhilippe GilbertJulian Alaphilippe
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