Wed, 26 Feb 2020

Paris - Philippe Gilbert, the 2012 road-race world champion, will return to Lotto Soudal next season at the age of 38 on a three-year contract, the team announced on Monday.

Gilbert, who is in his third season at another Belgian team, Quick-Step, made his mark in his first spell at Lotto from 2009-11.

The Belgian, who won the Paris-Roubaix race earlier this summer, said on the team website that the length of the contract had helped persuade him.

"I still wanted to race, without any doubt," he said. "When I learned that I could prolong at my current team for only one year, it was clear to me that I wanted to change."

"I know the team," he said. "And I will again be part of a Belgian project."

Gilbert reached the world No.1 ranking with Lotto in 2011, a season when he won Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Amstel Gold, the Fleche Wallonne, the Tour de Lombardy, the first stage of the Tour de France and the Saint-Sebastien Classic.

"He can pass on his experience to the current team, which is hungry for new success," said team manager Marc Sargent, who also oversaw Gilbert's first stint at the team. "His age is a relative term, you are as old or fit as you feel."

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