Cycling

Belgian Gilbert signs for Etixx

Philippe Gilbert (File)
Philippe Gilbert (File)

Rio de Janeiro - Belgium's former world road race champion Philippe Gilbert will join Etixx next season, the team announced on Tuesday.

Gilbert, 34, became just the second rider to sweep all three Ardennes classics in 2011 before claiming the world title a year later.

However, he trailed home well off the pace in last week's road race at the Rio Olympics and will leave BMC after five seasons.

"I was in contact with (Etixx team owner) Patrick Lefevere since my U23 spell and now I finally have the chance to ride here," said Gilbert, who has also recorded stage wins on all three Grand Tours.

"I'm looking forward to next season and I hope to be competitive and bring my contribution and experience to the classics and to the other important races the team will target."

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