CYCLING: Gilbert moves into elite company with sprint victory at Paris-Roubaix

A happy Philippe Gilbert wins his fourth Monument at Paris-Roubaix

Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert is no stranger to success. At 36, he has won more than six dozen races in his professional career, including the 2012 World Championships Road Race.

But like the other “Monument” races, Paris-Roubaix is special. So when he was part of a breakaway at the 209 km mark (of the 257 km race) with Wesley Kreder (NED), Nils Politt (GER), Rudiger Selig (GER), Peter Sagan (SVK) and Wout van Aert (BEL), the group was determined to break the race open.

They had a minute’s edge on the main chasers and then Gilbert attacked with 23 km left. Sagan – the defending champion – and Politt followed, soon joined by Sep Vanmarcke (BEL) and Yves Lampaert (BEL) with 17 km left. Then Politt attacked with 13 km left on another cobbled section and only Gilbert followed; the two had a 45-second lead with just 6 km left.

The two still had 15 seconds of their lead left when they entered the Roubaix velodrome and from there the experience Gilbert was ready for the final sprint that won him a fifth Monuments race:

● 2009: Giro di Lombardia
● 2010: Giro di Lombardia
● 2011: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
● 2017: Ronde van Vlaanderen
● 2019: Paris-Roubaix

For Gilbert, his win in a fourth different Monuments race moves him into elite company, as only eight others have ever won four or more Monuments. Gilbert and five others have won four; only Rik Van Looy (BEL: 1958-65), Eddy Merckx (BEL: 1966-76) and Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL: 1970-79) have ever won all five. For Gilbert, he will now target next year’s Milan-Sanremo to join them! Summaries:

UCI World Tour/Paris-Roubaix
Compiegne to Roubaix (FRA) ~ 14 April 2019
(Full results here)

Final Standings (257 km): 1. Philippe Gilbert (BEL), 5:58:02; 2. Nils Politt (GER), 5:58:02; 3. Yves Lampaert (BEL), 5:58:15; 4. Sep Vanmarcke (BEL), 5:58:42; 5. Peter Sagan (SVK), 5:58:44; 6. Florian Senechal (FRA), 5:58:49; 7. Mike Teunissen (NED), 5:58:49; 8. Zdenek Stybar (SLO), 5:58:49; 9. Evaldas Siskevicius (LTU), 5:58:49; 10. Sebastian Langeveld (NED), 5:58:49.