Philippe Gilbert – the World Champion in road cycling visits Slovakia


After the challenging season Philippe Gilbert found time and came to see Slovakia. He spent two days here and together with Martin Velits participated also in the press conference in which journalists were given a chance to interview both riders in person. It is not every day that we have the opportunity to meet in person the 2012 world champion, the champion of Belgium, the four-time winner of hard Amstel Gold Races and this year´s winner of Tour of Flanders. He is in Slovakia for the first time and on any other occasion he is happy to come back here, as he said for the media: „ I am here for the first time. Although it is very rare, it is nice to come to the country the riders of which belong to the world top.“ With the Belgian team he has extended his contract for another season and this also makes us happy, as a sponsor of the team: „I am a Belgian, Quick-Step is the Belgium team and therefore I am happy that for another two years I will be a part of it. Nowadays I am in good shape and I believe that I can still have remarkable achievements. “

Philippe Gilbert may come back here as early as next year since Patrick Lefevere promised to take part in the Tour of Slovakia races which are to be held in September 2018 before the World Championship. Ján Miškovský, the owner of janom, has disclosed the news to the media: „Last week we completed a round of talks with the team management and agreed that Quick-Step Floors will compete in the next year´s Tour of Slovakia. It is necessary to finalise details with Union Cycliste Internationale as well as the Slovak Cycling Federation, however, the Quick-Step Floors manager, Patrick Lefevere has promised me to do all their best to compete on the Slovak roads next year.“

Martin Velits also participated in the press conference where he announced to end his cycling career. The reason for his decision is physical and mental fatigue as well as minor health problems. He had been thinking of ending his career for a long time and the team accepted it with understanding and respect. He will long remember a lot of nice moments as well as difficult ones which he had experienced during his long cycling career. Nowadays, however, he wants to take up his own activities. As he stated for the media at the press conference: „ I have already reached the age to realise that it is high time I ended pro-cycling. I do not want to be forced to do anything. I am really exhausted and there is also another way to go ahead in my life. I guess all things were delivered to cycling by me. And therefore I do believe that I am ending my career at the right time.“