Superb Gilbert solo
Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) has upstaged some of the more fancied riders and teams by winning the 61st Omloop Het Volk with an incredibly powerful ride in the last 20 km. After bridging up to the leading group (twice), Gilbert attacked repeatedly until he got away alone with 7 km to go. His gap at the finish was nearly 40 seconds to Bert de Waele (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), while Leon van Bon (Davitamon-Lotto) won a three man sprint for third.
"This was the nicest win of my small career," Gilbert explained after the finish. "The last five or six kilometres were very tough. I didn't look behind."
An early break of 11 riders - containing two Quick.Steps but no Davitamons - survived until 50 km to go, when Davitamon started to split the peloton in the crosswind en route to Wetteren. Once they were caught, a new group of 13 went clear at 40 km to go, joined by Gert Steegmans and Tom Boonen at 26 km left. Eventual winner Gilbert bridged up to this group shortly afterwards, then had to chase again when Pozzato, De Vocht, De Waele and Scanlon went with 20 km to go. He succeeded, riding away from all of them with 7 km left.