If Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) was the Superman of the pavé-classics then Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) is the Superman of the short uphill finish. On Sunday he blew the opposition away on the Cauberg at the Amstel Gold Race.
“I understand that everybody was riding on his wheel even though I'm not racing that way. Flanders is relatively flat and that allows some to take profit of another rider. Defensive tactics are easier and it pays off in cash. In this race the best riders are in front and everybody has to go flat out. In Liège[-Bastogne-Liège] it's even harder,” Gilbert said.
Even though he's the first rider since Jan Raas to win the Amstel Gold Race for the second year in a row Gilbert considers it as a side-event. His main goal remains the biggest race in the Ardennes, Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The race is one of the five cycling monuments, the biggest one-day races in the sport. Two years ago Gilbert finished fourth, last year third and there's nothing Superman wants more than grabbing the win on home soil next Sunday.