Philippe Gilbert after his amazing solo: “I didn’t get any response on radio, so I just rode on.”

2 April 2017

Philippe Gilbert won his first Tour of Flanders in spectacular fashion. He broke away from the pack at 56 kilometres to reach the finish line in Oudenaarde solo. ‘I yelled: “What should I do?”, but didn’t get any response. So I just rode on.’

‘On the way to the Muur, Tom and I rode at an astounding speed,’ recalls winner Gilbert. ‘Sky then appeared, and Tom also kept going. So, we said: let’s plough on through! A gap appeared after the Muur and our group continued to sprint ahead, but our pursuers started to catch up. So we surged up the Kwaremont at top speed. Tom opened quickly, I overtook him, and when I looked back a bit later I was alone. Via the radio I kept yelling: what should I do? What should I do? but I didn’t get any response. So I just rode on.’

‘This is the third monumental race I’ve conquered now. I dream of winning all five, but it will be a rough ride. There are so many aspects you have to master: climbing, cobblestones. But whichever way you look at it, this is a very special victory, 30 years after Criquellion, the only Walloon able to emerge victorious.’

‘The victory doesn’t just belong to me, but to the entire team. They supported me fantastically today, and also did some great work behind the scenes in slowing down my competitors.’


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