As the old adage says, money doesn’t buy happiness, good health is everything.
The deep pockets BMC team goes into Milan San Remo in bad shape and poor health. Thor Hushovd is out with a fever, Greg Van Avermaet has a heel blister injury, Gilbert is recovering from a fever and tooth ache and Alessandro Ballan, option number four in case of disaster, is now the only hope.
Rich team owner Andy Rihs must be wondering what he paid for when he signed up Hushovd and Gilbert? Uhh, right now he’s paying for antibiotics. Critics wondered about the clash of egos between Hushovd and Gilbert and already there’s big trouble: the Norwegian caught Gilbert’s cold and had to withdraw from Milan San Remo.
Hushovd is a pretty day going guy but from now on he’s telling Gilbert straight out: Don’t’ breathe on me, don’t’ sit next to me at dinner. I have objectives and I’m not missing Paris-Roubaix with another one of your bugs.
Things could get even worse in Italy if Ballan joins the BMC sick ward. Then the race is up to the old hard-man himself, 38 year old George Hincapie and his young minion Taylor Phinney.
Gilbert says he doesn’t expect to be much of a factor in Milan San Remo. As he famously told Van Avermaet in the off-season, Gilbert himself must now be “reasonable” in his expectations. Tell that to the Belgian media — they don’t do reasonable this time of year.
It’s been a rough start to the season so far for BMC. They’ve got the big classics stars. WHat they don’t have and can’t guy is good health.