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Gilbert dreams of a win in San Remo

Philippe Gilbert went on a tear at the end of 2009, winning four races in a row including the season-closing classic Giro di Lombardia. This year, the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider is aiming for wins in the spring classics, beginning with Milan-San Remo on Saturday.

Philippe Gilbert went on a tear at the end of 2009, winning four races in a row including the season-closing classic Giro di Lombardia. This year, the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider is aiming for wins in the spring classics, beginning with Milan-San Remo on Saturday.

“I want to start there with a good foundation,” he told VeloNews. “Not at 100 percent, but with good form. I would like to win it, of course — it’s a dream.”

Gilbert is not an out-and-out sprinter, and needs to get away alone or in a small group to win big races.

“For me, it’s better when there is a lot of attacking,” he said. “Maybe I can do something on the Cipressa. We will see in the finale.”

After Milan-San Remo, Gilbert will seek to improve on his solid results from 2009 in the other spring classics. Last year he was third at the Tour of Flanders, and fourth in both Amstel Gold and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. As to exactly how he hopes to do that, well, he’ll have to wait and see.

“It’s difficult to talk about the tactic now for a race like Flanders,” he said. “I am more a rider who acts on instinct, and takes the initiative on the bike. I don’t always have a plan before the race. For me that’s the best reaction.”