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Philippe Gilbert (BMC)
World Champion joins supporters at wild animal park
World Champion Philippe Gilbert was honored at the Le Monde Sauvage de Remouchamps wild animal park in Aywaille today, being dubbed the "Boar of the Ardennes" for his resistance to cold and his attacking nature, in a nod to the many species of creatures at the venue.
It was a brisk day in the BMC rider's home town with temperatures nearing zero, but the wintery temperatures did not keep away the crowds, who lined up to join Gilbert on the 77km ride.
The event was a fundraiser for the supporters club of Gilbert, which runs youth development programs in the region.
Gilbert became the first Walloon world champion since Claude Criquielion in 1984 when he soloed to victory in Valkenburg in September.