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Philippe Gilbert wins the Tour of Flanders 2017 with a long final solo!

Added: sunday 02 April 2017 at 18:45:00
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    Philippe Gilbert wins the Tour of Flanders 2017 with a long final solo!The 101st edition of the Tour of Flanders didn't work out as usual ... Indeed, even though as usual we saw a first leading group going off rather quickly, the Wall of Geraardsbergen (Mur de Grammont) saw the race explode and Philippe Gilbert ended up in the right chasing group behind the leading group.

    Once in the lead with the initial breakaway, Gilbert decided to attack in the "Oude Kwaremont" and he ended up alone leading the race at a bit over fifty kilometers from the finish! Despite that huge remaining distance, the Belgian Champion manages to resist to the chasing riders behind him and he thus wins this race for the first time in his career!

    The summary of the Tour of Flanders 2017

    Today the 101st edition of the Tour of Flanders (or Ronde van Vlaanderen as it's called locally!) took place.

    During the presentation of the different participating teams on the Market in Antwerp, Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors) was received with a "Viking Clap" for the start of his last Tour of Flanders, as you can see in the video below, with the images from Sporza:


    Once the race had started, it took only a few hundreds of meters before 6 riders took off: Julien Duval (AG2R La Mondiale), Oliviero Troia (UAE Team Emirates), Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Stef van Zummeren et Michael Goolaerts (Veranda's Willems-Crelan) et Julien Morice (Direct Energie) were these 6 riders and a few kilometers further they were joined by Edward Planckaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and André Looij (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) and the peloton didn't seem to be bothered by this group going off. Indeed, it rapidly created a gap of no less than 11'11" after a bit over 40 kilometers!

    This finally turned out to be the biggest gap, but arriving on the first cobble stones after a bit less than 100 kilometers in the race, the 8 leading riders still had a 10 minutes gap on the peloton. Several mechanical problems and flat tyres but also some breakaway attempts at the head of the peloton later, the "Muur van Geraardsbergen" (Mur de Grammont) (which made its comeback in this year's race route) was where a small group managed to get away from the peloton and start chasing: Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert and Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe), Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac Professional Cycling Team), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha-Alpecin), Luke Rowe and Gianni Moscon (Team Sky), Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates), Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Sylvain Chavanel and Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) and at 67 kilometers from the finish these 14 riders came back on the 8 leading riders.

    At the foot of the "Oude KWaremont" this group still had a 40 seconds gap on the peloton and this was the climb that Philippe Gilbert chose to attack! At everyone's surprise, the rider of the Quick-Step Floors team, in his Belgian Champion jersey, went off alone at 55 kilometers from the finish.

    Behind him, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) caught up with the group with Tom Boonen but there was nothing to do, Philippe Gilbert continued to increase his gap!
    Over one minute at about fourty kilometers from the finish and a bit further he then learned that the race one by one left other big names, first Tom Boonen with a mechanical incident (his chain got stuck and after having waited quite some time, the bike he was given also had a problem) and then Peter Sagan who crashed into the barriers on the left side of the road and who took Oliver Naesen with him, just after having attacked together with Oliver Naesen and Greg van Avermaet.

    In the lead, Gilbert kept up his efforts to keep around one minute gap on his main opponents all times and that's how he won for the first time in his career the Tour of Flanders! Van Avermaet, left alone behind after the crash of Sagan and Naesen takes the second place, ahead of Niki Terpstra and Dylan van Baarle.

    The video of the finish of the Tour of Flanders 2017

    The classification of the Tour of Flanders 2017

    Here's the top 10 of the Tour of Flanders 2017:

    1/ Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) - 6h23'45"
    2/ Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) - +0'28"
    3/ Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors)
    4/ Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac Professional Cycling Team)
    5/ Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha-Alpecin) - +0'52"
    6/ Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates)
    7/ John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)
    8/ Filippo Pozzato (Wilier Triestina)
    9/ Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie)
    10/ Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Comments

Currently 3 comments!
  1. Quel suspense !!!
    Heureux pour Philippe Gilbert, un superbe coureur.
    Il est allé jusqu'au bout. Bravo champion !

    | Honoré BONNET | monday 03 April 2017 at 9:49:59

  2. Des dizaines de drapeaux flamands entourant un wallon revêtu des couleurs belges !!! Vive le cyclisme !!!!!!

    | marc | monday 03 April 2017 at 18:37:02

  3. Fantastic effort by P.G. Never to be repeated by others????? We'll wait and see.

    | Tony A. Martin | wednesday 05 April 2017 at 10:36:44

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