- Posts: 7624
- Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:29 am
- Location: Adelaide, South Australia
- Posts: 4334
- Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:19 pm
- Location: Hiding in the bunch
MichaelB wrote:Seems to have been able to do what Fabs couldn't. Be the outstanding favourite and still win !!
I don't think he was being marked as heavily. I think given Rodriguez' comments afterwards, that he and others felt that the route and the final climb wouldn't suit Gilbert as much as Amstel....
http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/la-fle ... is/results
Still a super effort Can he do the treble ??
- Posts: 5451
- Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:22 pm
- Location: Sydney, Australia
MichaelB wrote:Super Gilbert can do no wrong at the moment
Gilbert the great!
The win saw Gilbert complete a hat-trick of wins in the Ardennes, after triumphing at Amstel Gold Race and FlÃ¨che Wallone in the past week. Born near the course at Verviers, it was an emotional victory for Gilbert, who took his eighth Classic victory, and his first at La Doyenne.
The leading trio escaped on the CÃ´te de Roche aux Faucons with 20km, when the Schleck brothers made their much-anticipated two-pronged attack. FrÃ¤nk was the first to go, but when Andy joined him with Gilbert sat comfortably on his wheel, there was already an air of inevitability about the result.
The Schleck-Gilbert express caught and passed the remnants of an earlier breakaway over the top of the climb, although the plucky Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) managed to hitch a ride as far as the CÃ´te de Saint-Nicholas, with 5km to go.
On the Saint-Nicholas itself, Gilbert was well able to resist Andy Schleck's speculative pressing, and even went to the front himself. As the road steepened, he launched a ferocious acceleration of his own from the front, to which only FrÃ¤nk had an answer, although Andy managed to get back on after scrambling down the descent.
Although outnumbered two to one in the final kilometres, Gilbert had a comfortable time of it on the approach to the final kick up the CÃ´te de Ans. Rather than attack Gilbert in turn, as might have been expected, the Schlecks appeared resigned to the fact that the Belgian was simply the strongest man in the race, and ultimately they all but carried him to the finish.
For his part, as was the case from the Roche aux Faucons, Gilbert contributed his share of the pace-setting, but was always careful in his positioning as he looked to avoid an ambush.
Even under the red kite, however, neither Schleck was able to summon up an attack to cast at least some doubt on the outcome. Instead, Andy Schleck led out a straightforward sprint, and Gilbert duly ripped past him 200 metres from the line to score an emphatic victory.
FrÃ¤nk Schleck crossed the line in second ahead of Andy, while Roman Kreuziger (Astana) led home a select chasing group 24 seconds back to take fourth in front of Rigoberto Uran (Sky), Chris Anker SÃ¸rensen (Saxo Bank-SunGard), Van Avermaet and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale).
Kreuziger's team leader Alexandre Vinokourov had punctured on the Roche aux Faucons shortly after Gilbert and the Schlecks' decisive move, but while the confusion that caused may have hindered the initial pursuit, there was no doubting that Gilbert was far and away the strongest man, as has been the case all week.
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