Omloop Het Volk winner Philippe Gilbert proved over a week ago that he's already in good shape, and that he would like to continue that winning form during the race to Nice. In the Belgian VUM newspapers, Gilbert pointed out that he likes arriving solo at the finish line, early in the season.
"It is indeed a habit to go for a win early in the season; that's so I wouldn't start to doubt myself," he said. "The Omloop, that was a big bang right away of course. It made me think back to the days of my first win, a provincial championship with the juveniles. I went to the finish line by myself also there. That day I discovered the great joy of winning. It's an emotion I don't want to go without anymore."
Gilbert likes being the only one in the picture while crossing the line; and that solo game is inherent to his temperament. "That's why I don't play soccer. You depend too much on the other players. It's possible to play a great game yourself but lose anyway. As a cyclist your team is important also, of course, but you carry more responsibility yourself. Also for the result. You know, I didn't have any idols when I was young, I just loved every aggressive rider, riders who attack tout court. So really, I had a different hero every race!"