For anyone who checks the days off the calendar in the run-up to those first early season Classics, who pairs their Belgian beers with their Belgian classics, who orders in the chips and mayonnaise and turns their phone to silent, Philippe Gilbert is the face of cycling.
He won the World Championship Road Race in 2012 and has won numerous stages of multi-day races, but his prowess always made itself known on his home roads. Fortunately, those home roads were the site of some of the most famous bike races in the world.
A tough Belgian all-rounder, Philippe could turn that strength to the lumpier parcours of Grand Tours as demonstrated with a stage win at the Tour de France, three stages at the Giro and seven stages at the Vuelta a Espana, as well as the overall at the Tour of Beijing. But, he just shines on the cobbles and those beautiful, often awful, little roads of Northern Europe.
He's won Amstel Gold four times, Paris-Tours twice, Lombardia twice, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad twice, Brabantse Pijl twice, Gran Piemonte twice, Strade Bianche, La Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, San Sebastian, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. In 2011 he became only the second person in history to win the three Ardennes Classics (Amstel, Fleche and Liege) in one season.
Philippe epitomises Belgian cycling, is the winner of multiple Belgian sporting accolades and was made an honorary citizen of Valkenburg in the Netherlands, home of the famous Cauberg climb. In case you couldn't tell, we're very excited to have him join us for our LeBlanq Flanders event.
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