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Gilbert wins Belgian national road race title

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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) wins Belgian road race title

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) wins Belgian road race title (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) wins Belgium road race championships

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) wins Belgium road race championships (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC's Greg Van Avermaet during the race

BMC's Greg Van Avermaet during the race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Only one happy face on the podium

Only one happy face on the podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert waves from the podium

Philippe Gilbert waves from the podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert zips up his Belgian national jersey

Philippe Gilbert zips up his Belgian national jersey (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The gold medal against the Belgian tricolour

The gold medal against the Belgian tricolour (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The medal hanging around Philippe Gilbert's neck

The medal hanging around Philippe Gilbert's neck (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A very happy Philippe Gilbert with his gold medal

A very happy Philippe Gilbert with his gold medal (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert celebrates his Belgian title

Philippe Gilbert celebrates his Belgian title (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert shows off his second Belgian title

Philippe Gilbert shows off his second Belgian title (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert takes a bite out his gold medal

Philippe Gilbert takes a bite out his gold medal (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jurgen Van den Broeck (Katusha)

Jurgen Van den Broeck (Katusha) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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"Fight for Stig"

"Fight for Stig" (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) wins Belgian road race title

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) wins Belgian road race title (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Pieter Serry (Etixx - Quick Step)

Pieter Serry (Etixx - Quick Step) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Laurens De Plus

Laurens De Plus (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nikolas Maes

Nikolas Maes (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Edward Thuens

Edward Thuens (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)

Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert

Wout Van Aert (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Gianni Meersman (Etixx)

Gianni Meersman (Etixx) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Thomas De Gendt

Thomas De Gendt (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Wellens and Philippe Gilbert

Tim Wellens and Philippe Gilbert (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Thomas De Gendt

Thomas De Gendt (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nikolas Maes

Nikolas Maes (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Loïc Vliegen (BMC)

Loïc Vliegen (BMC) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) is the new Belgium champion

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) is the new Belgium champion (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC)

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) wins Belgium's national title

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) wins Belgium's national title (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) come to the line together

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) come to the line together (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet

Greg Van Avermaet (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Laurens De Plus

Laurens De Plus (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep)

Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Five years after his first national road race title, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) rode to his second in Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure. Gilbert beat Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) in a sprint, after the two got away in a late break, with Gilbert’s BMC teammate Greg Van Avermaet taking third.

Gilbert and Wellens jumped away with Etixx-QuickStep’s Laurens de Plus inside the final 50 kilometres, shutting down an earlier attack from Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal). The trio quickly dropped de Gendt, and when Gilbert and Wellens decided to forge on, de Plus was also left behind leaving the two riders to duke it out for the Belgian jersey.

Heading into the final kilometre, Gilbert and Wellens had a comfortable lead of more than a minute over the chasers, which allowed them to ride a very cagey and tactical sprint. Much like a match sprint on the track, they tried to force the other to the front and, at moments, it looked like they might come to a standstill on the drag to the finish line. When Gilbert finally struck out towards the finish line, Wellens had no answer and the elder of the two could throw his arms up in celebration.

There was a delayed start to the day due to a later than expected finish to the women’s race. Around 10 minutes later than planned, the men rolled out under grey skies. There had been some doubts about the participation of Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) after he fell ill earlier in the race but the former champion was on the start line.

After two laps, a strong group including many of the pre-race favourites began to move clear. The full make-up was the group consisted of: Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet, Dylan Teuns, Loïc Vliegen, De Plus, Nikolas Maes, Pieter Serry, Sean De Bie, Bart De Clercq, De Gendt, Jelle Wallays, Wellens, Jens Keukeleire, Jan Bakelants, Dries Devenyns, Wout van Aert, Aimé De Gendt, Floris De Tier and Gijs Van Hoecke.

That would prove to be the crucial split in the bunch as riders struggled to chase across. As the rain began to fall, the effort showed for De Bie, and he dropped back and eventually retired citing a broken rib for his departure. It wasn’t only De Bie that suffered and with 100km to go, only 70 riders remained out on course. Several riders did try to bridge the gap, but most were unsuccessful with Jurgen Roelandts one of the few to make it. With five laps remaining, however, the leading group began to diminish.

It was at this point that De Gendt decided to brave the horrible conditions alone. He built little more than a 20-second gap before he was joined by Gilbert, Wellens and De Plus and subsequently dropped. As the trio out front pushed on, De Gendt found more company in Bakelants, Jelle Wallays, Van Avermaet, Pieter Serry, Roelandts and Jens Keukeleire.

With 40km to go, Du Plus already looked to be struggling to stay in touch with Wellens and Gilbert. He held on for a little longer but finally had to wave goodbye to the leading group with 24 kilometres to the line. Behind them, De Gendt and Van Avermaet stopped assisting the chasing group, which allowed their teammates to build their advantage.

Wellens did the lion’s share of the work in the final 10 kilometres and, knowing Gilbert’s finishing speed, tried to shake him off on several occasions. It wasn’t to be for Wellens, and he had no answer to Gilbert in the run to the line.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team5:46:59
2Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:28
4Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:34
5Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
6Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step0:00:39
7Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
8Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step0:00:42
9Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team0:00:51
10Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:01:44
11Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:50
12Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
13Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step
14Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team
15Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
16Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
17Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal
18Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step
19Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
20Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge
21Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
22Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:02:56
23Laurent Evrard (Bel) Team 3M0:02:57
24Gijs Van Hoeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
25Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data0:03:05
26Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:13
27Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek - Segafredo0:03:17
28Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:28
29Laurens De Plus (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step0:03:47
30Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling
DNSKlaas Vantornout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
DNFKevin De Mesmaeker (Bel) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFAmaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFAimé Degendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFMoreno De Pauw (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFMaxime Farazijn (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFRuben Pols (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFJonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFJarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFThomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFStijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFDries Van Gestel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFBert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFJef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFPieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFOtto Vergaerde (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFJens Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFTom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step
DNFGianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step
DNFStijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step
DNFTiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFKris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFSean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFJasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFBart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFJens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFFrederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFMaxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFJelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFLouis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFLoic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
DNFVictor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
DNFTom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
DNFSep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo
DNFJasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek - Segafredo
DNFEdward Theuns (Bel) Trek - Segafredo
DNFZico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant - Alpecin
DNFJurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha
DNFDries Devenyns (Bel) IAMCycling
DNFJonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
DNFFrederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFGaetan Bille (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFDimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFThomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFKenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFTom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFBoris Dron (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFRoy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFLander Seynaeve (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFRobin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFFrederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFOlivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFLudwig De Winter (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFTom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFThomas Deruette (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFJonathan Dufrasne (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFJimmy Duquennoy (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFGregory Habeaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFKevin Ista (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFOlivier Pardini (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFGaëtan Pons (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFJulien Stassen (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFAntoine Warnier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFJens Adams (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
DNFTim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
DNFRob Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
DNFEli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
DNFKevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
DNFDieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
DNFMichael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
DNFGianni Vermeersch (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team
DNFJoeri Calleeuw (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team
DNFStef Van Zummeren (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team
DNFJim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
DNFToon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
DNFNicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post - Chain Reaction
DNFEmiel Wastyn (Bel) An Post - Chain Reaction
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) Beobank - Corendon
DNFDiether Sweeck (Bel) Era - Murprotec
DNFLaurens Sweeck (Bel) Era - Murprotec
DNFJens Vandekinderen (Bel) Kalas - H Essers - Noff Cycling Team
DNFLaurent Vanden Bak (Bel) Leopard Pro Cycling
DNFDieter Bouvry (Bel) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
DNFMaxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
DNFMichael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFKenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFBoris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital Concept

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