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Philippe Gilbert to skip Paris-Roubaix and focus on Ardennes

Philippe Gilbert holding his bike in the air after winning the 2017 Tour of Flanders
Josh Cunningham
4 Apr 2017

Tour of Flanders winner closes his Cobbled Classics campaign to take a short break and return later in the month

Quickstep Floors, the team of Tour of Flanders winner Philippe Gilbert, have revealed that the Belgian will not be racing Paris-Roubaix this coming Sunday.

After his Tour of Flanders victory last weekend the idea of Gilbert racing the Queen of the Classics was raised, but Quickstep have been quick to dispel such rumours, saying that he will take a short period of rest before the Ardennes Classics later in the month.

In 2011 Gilbert won all three of the Ardennes races; Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He also won The Amstel Gold in 2010 and 2014.

'Paris-Roubaix has a magnetic attraction on me, but I won't be there this year,' Gilbert said. 'I need to take a break, recover properly and then begin thinking of the Ardennes, where I'll be part of a very strong team, together with Julian (Allaphilippe) and Dan (Martin).'

'Besides that, I've only raced Roubaix once, back in 2007, and for a race like that you need experience. Tom (Boonen) needs all the support he can get in his final attempt there, as a strong team is a very important factor in Paris-Roubaix, and I wish him all the best.'

'Immediately after his splendid Flanders win, the temptation of lining up Philippe at the start was big, especially as he too was thinking of this,' said Quickstep Floors manager Patrick Lefevere. 'But we sat down, thought this through and decided it's better for him to rest a bit and then return to training for the Ardennes campaign, where his experience and power will be very helpful.'

As it stands, Gilbert's next race will be Brabantse Pijl on April 12th, which is a bridge between the Cobbles and the Ardennes and a race that Gilbert has won twice before, in 2011 and 2014.