Home > News

Gallery: Philippe Gilbert’s stunning Tour of Flanders victory

Moment of inattention costs pre-race favourites the chance at victory

Philippe Gilbert (QuickStep Floors) won the 101st edition of De Ronde van Vlaaderen in impressive fashion soloing away on the Oude Kwaremont from an escape group with 55-km to race. Behind the racing was frantic. The lead group containing Gilbert had formed on the ascent of the Muur van Geraardsbergen.

RELATED: Victory for Rivera and Gilbert in the Tour of Flanders

Behind the racing was frantic. Pre-race favourites Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Oliver Naesen (Ag2r-La Mondial) were absent. With 17-km to go the three escaped on the final ascent of the Kwaremont but Sagan lost control of his bike while hugging the barriers in the gutter of the cobbled helligen only to topple over and take Van Avermaet and Naesen out. This bizarre crash will surely be remembered just as well as Gilbert impressive ride.

RELATED: Watch: Sagan, Van Avermaet and Naesen crash on the Oude Kwaremont at the Tour of Flanders

Earlier in the race Tom Boonen (QuickStep Floors) was taken out of contention at the foot of his favourite climb, the Taainenberg, because of a mechanical forcing him to dismount. It was the moment Sagan, Naesen and Van Avermaet used to escape the chase. The Taainenberg will never be raced the same without ‘Tomeke’ smashing on the pedals at the front putting the peloton in the red like has so often been his habit over his lengthy career.

Other pre-race favourites Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac) and Luke Rowe (Sky) suffered equally unkind ends to their hopes hitting the pavement from the front group.

RELATED: Watch: Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever”, Episode 1: Palomar

Van Avermaet was able to pick himself up from the pavement following the crash and ride to second mounting a chase with Niki Terpstra (QuickStep Floors) and Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac) who finished third and fourth respectively.

Gilbert’s win was his fourth monument victory and his first at Flanders a race he has finished third at twice.