Gilbert Wins Brabantse Pijl
BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert took his first race victory of the 2014 season when he sprinted to victory in Brabantse Pijl. Gilbert crossed the finish line ahead of breakaway companion Michael Matthews of Team GreenEdge.
Winner of this race in 2011 and runner-up last year, Gilbert earned the victory with a throw of his bike as Matthews attempted to come around him on the uphill dash to the finish.
"Matthews was the fastest, but I played it well because he had to close the gap to (Bjorn) Leukemans and (Wouter) Poels on the descent and that cost him power," Gilbert explained.
"I also saw he was closed in in the last corner, but I waited, because I knew from the last times (up the climb), I didn't want to make the same mistake. It was perfect." Team Lotto-Belisol's Tony Gallopin finished third behind Gilbert and Matthews.
With twenty kilometers left of the 203 kilometer race, Gilbert attacked to bridge a 15-second gap to a small breakaway group. His solo effort lasted nine kilometers, but less than two minutes after he joined the breakaway hopefuls, the main peloton closed down the move.
"I had to choose between waiting or trying and I tried," Gilbert explained. "Alone against seven riders is not easy with a headwind. And when I came back, the peloton also came back. Eventually it was a performance for nothing, but you never know."