With 55 kilometers to go in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Philippe Gilbert clipped off the front of a group that had already made the cut on the legendary Muur-Kapelmuur and charged up the road, taming the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg with remarkable ease, before arriving alone at the finish in Oudenaarde, where he carried his bike over the line as he became one of the few riders in history to win Flanders in the beautiful Belgian Champion jersey.
It was the most successful long-range attack the race had seen since the days of Eddy Merckx, one of for the history books and the crown jewel of a fantastic season for Philippe, who finished the year with five victories to his name, including a fourth career win at Amstel Gold Race, on a revamped course.
What’s next for him? “People are talking about me winning Sanremo and Roubaix, but the most important thing at the end of the day is to not have any regrets and be satisfied with the way I gave everything in every single race out there.”
UCI Ranking: 20
#Top-10 positions: 7
Race distance covered: 5935 km
Days of racing: 34 days