Philippe Gilbert sees the Tour de France 2021 as his last
Philippe Gilbert could hurtle down the Champs-Élysées for the last time on Sunday.
Gilbert, 39, considers this year’s Tour de France his last before retiring at the end of 2022.
“Finishing a tour means a lot at any age. But I don’t see myself coming back to the Tour as a rider. So tomorrow I’ll be driving to Paris for the last time. Gilbert said France Televisions the Saturday.
Gilbert was part of a Lotto-Soudal team without a figurehead after star sprinter Caleb Ewan crashed into Stage 3. The team didn’t have much to say other than appearances in the break and the neopro Harry Sweeny who finished third in stage 12.
Gilbert had two top-20s but was otherwise out of sight.
Big day today! With a royal breakaway 👑 in the longest stage of this year @LeTour: 255 km covered in 5h50!
New photos pic.twitter.com/ySdq2zQJQY
– Philippe Gilbert (@PhilippeGilbert) July 2, 2021
After failing to complete the last four of his 11 circuits, Gilbert said this year’s race was a survival race.
“In my four previous laps, I had to give up every time. Either I was sick or I fell, ”he said. “This time I really wanted to finish. I suffered a lot and I did an anonymous race. But at any age, it’s a feat to finish the Tour.
Gilbert won only one Tour de France victory in 2011. He will hang up after a last season with Lotto-Soudal next winter.