Philippe Gilbert and his Monument Odyssey

Philippe Gilbert on his way to winning his first Monument in 2010 (Image credit: Getty Images)

At the end of the 2011 season, Philippe Gilbert departed Omega Pharma-Lotto and set sail on an eight-year voyage that stretched across BMC Racing and then QuickStep. Finally, after all those years away he’s returned home. Yet the 37-year-old finds a very different team to the one he left all those years ago. 

The roster is virtually unrecognisable; the management a little thinner and greyer on top, and Omega-Pharma has been scrubbed from the livery to be replaced by Soudal. Little has stayed the same, and even Gilbert has changed – or adapted as he explains. And according to the multiple Monument winner, it’s that dedication to evolution that has kept him at the peak of his powers for all of these years. 

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Daniel Benson