Gilbert abandons Amgen Tour for birth of second child

World champion steps away from California to return home

World champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) has withdrawn from the Amgen Tour of California after three stages to be with his wife, Patricia, for the birth of the couple’s second child.

“My wife is going to have our baby sooner than the delivery date,” Gilbert said in a team press release. “So it’s an exciting reason and very important for me to be there.”

Gilbert was expected to play a key factor in American Tejay van Garderen’s push for the overall win in the eight-day tour. The Amgen Tour was his first U.S. race.

“I always have problem with the jet lag and differences of temperature but it was a nice race,” he said. “The roads were nice — different than Europe of course, with very big roads — and the organization was fine. It’s a little bit sad to leave because I think Tejay is going to win this race.”