After winning the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold in quick succession, Gilbert seemed on top of the cycling world but he was immediately brought back down to earth with the diagnosis of a tear to his right kidney. The injury was a result of a crash part way through Sunday's Amstel Gold Race, which he went on to win.
After spending the past 48 hours in the hospital and undergoing further medical examinations following his crash Philippe Gilbert was been released by the doctors and is now headed home, together with his family.
After consulting the Quick-Step Floors medical staff, it’s been agreed that the Belgian Champion will stay off the bike for two weeks and fully recover, before resuming training. That means that Gilbert will not line up for the 100th edition of Giro d’Italia, set to start on May 5.
“It’s a big blow for me to miss the Giro," said Gilbert", a beautiful race in which I’ve enjoyed success several times in the past, but this kind of injuries are always delicate and it’s recommended to don’t rush things, so extending my recovery period is the best decision we could take.
Gilbert will now turn his attention to the later stages of the season, he could realistically consider a racing calendar that allows him to ride the Tour de France or maybe focus on the one day races where he has already been so successful. The Canadian classics and the World Championships in Norway could well be a big target of Gilbert's for the back half of the year and few will relish taking on the 2012 World Champion on the hilly course in Bergen.
Gilbert himself was not downhearted by the setback and was firm in his desire to bounce back later in the season.
"Despite this setback, I remain upbeat and I now look with even more motivation to the second part of the season”, said Gilbert.