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Tour de France rider galleries: Philippe Gilbert

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Luis Leon Sanchez attacks with Philippe Gilbert in tow

Luis Leon Sanchez attacks with Philippe Gilbert in tow (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) leads the escapees round a turn

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) leads the escapees round a turn (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) sets the pace in the break on stage 14 at the Tour de France

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) sets the pace in the break on stage 14 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) makes the break in stage 14 at the Tour de France

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) makes the break in stage 14 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) on the climb to La Planche des Belles Filles

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) on the climb to La Planche des Belles Filles (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Gilbert (BMC) gives his bike a check over prior to the start

Gilbert (BMC) gives his bike a check over prior to the start (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) chats with Jean-Francois Pescheaux at the sign-on

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) chats with Jean-Francois Pescheaux at the sign-on (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC)

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC)

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Belgian time trial champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC)

Belgian time trial champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) begins his test against the clock at the Tour de France

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) begins his test against the clock at the Tour de France (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was impressive

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was impressive (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has enjoyed a good start to the 2012 Tour de France

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has enjoyed a good start to the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Gilbert (BMC) during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Gilbert (BMC) during stage 10 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) gets soem advice

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) gets soem advice (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Gilbert (BMC) with his son prior to the start of stage 1 at the Tour de France

Gilbert (BMC) with his son prior to the start of stage 1 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) takes some family time before the start of stage 1 at the Tour de France

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) takes some family time before the start of stage 1 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and son prior to the start of the Tour's first road stage.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and son prior to the start of the Tour's first road stage. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Gilbert (BMC) during the stage 9 time trial

Gilbert (BMC) during the stage 9 time trial (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cadel Evans and Philippe Gilbert on the stage in Liège

Cadel Evans and Philippe Gilbert on the stage in Liège (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The prolific-winning Belgian of last year has been absent from the top step of the podium this season. Repeating his near season-long run of form came to an end this year when he’s failed to win a single race. We’ve since flashes of the 2011 Gilbert but he’s been in no condition to repeat his feats of the previous season.

Gilbert however, may put the frustration of the past six months behind him if he wins a stage, or two at the Tour. Signs he may have timed his form to perfection was demonstrated just a week out from the start when he won the Belgian national time trial championships. He then went on to finish ninth in the prologue and looked confident in the finale of stage one.

He failed to repeat his stage one victory in the Tour of 2011 but there’s a feeling Gilbert’s best is yet to come. He’s at the Tour to support his team leader Cadel Evans but that doesn’t mean he can’t ride into Paris with a personal result to go with it – a rider of his calibre deserves that much. But can he do it?

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