Philippe Gilbert beats Simon to take Grand Prix De Wallonie 2011- Cycling News
Omega Pharma-Lotto team’s Philippe Gilbert showed his tremendous performance and took GP Wallonie for the second time in his career on Wednesday, September 14.
The race started in Chaudfontaine and ended in Namur. The 29-year-old Belgian professional cyclists took the total of 5 hours and 8 seconds to cover the distance of 203.1 kilometres.
Gilbert told the media, “It was a very, very fast race but I felt good. The team worked really well in the finale and so I started the climb to the Citadel in a good position. We rode steady but then Rabobank upped the pace, making it perfect for me to launch
an attack. I got a gap and kept going.”
Recently, Gilbert took a lot of victory in this season including, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Amstel Gold Race, La Fleche Wallonne and Brabantse Pijl. He also secured National road race and time trial championships.
Graeme Brown (Rabobank Cycling Team), Olivier Pardini (Wallonie Bruxelles – Credit Agricole) and Frederik Willems (Omega Pharma-Lotto) were disqualified.
In the final kilometres, Gilbert showed his good effort and powered to beat the Julien Simon of Saur-Sojasun with 2 seconds down to Belgian. Bjorn Leukemans of Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling finished third ahead of Landbouwkrediet riders Bert De Waele and Davy
A group of 11 cyclists made their breakaway lead including, Gilbert, Bjorn Leukemans, Julien Simon, David Boucher and Olivier Kaisen. However, in the final kilometres, the group shuffled but all of them working hard and go away. The Gilbert teammate Bocuher
and Kaisen able to hold the pace and stayed away.
Landbouwkrediet rider Edwig Cammaerts tried his best to take a lead but Gilbert increase his pace and able to cross the finish line ahead of the other cyclists.
He further added, “I’ve been watching the weather and it’s been raining every day and been cold. It’ll be a hard race.”
Jonathan Hivert (Saur – Sojasun) was in good from and tried to catch the leading cyclists but unable to hold his pace and took the 18th place with the difference of 8 seconds.
This is the last race for the Gilbert before the World Championships in Denmark and if he continues his effort then there is possibility that he can retain his Grand Prix victory in the next season.