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By Andrew Hood
Philippe Gilbert must be wishing he had this ripping form a few weeks ago at the world championships in Mendrisio.
Just days after taking scalps at Paris-Tours and Coppa Sabatini, the Belgian bomber rounded out his October treble with victory Thursday at Giro del Piemonte in the season’s penultimate race.
Sixth at the road worlds in Switzerland, Gilbert has been laying it on thick during the final races of the 2009 European racing calendar, taking three consecutive victories this week.
After defending his Paris-Tours win and then coming up tops at Sabatini, all eyes were Gilbert in Thursday’s rumble across Italy’s Piemonte country, but the Silence-Lotto rider could still deliver the goods.
Gilbert out-kicked Spain’s Dani Moreno (Caisse d’Epargne), with Italian Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre) coming across third.
The win is Gilbert’s sixth on the 2009 campaign, highlighted by consistent performances across the season, book-ended with fourth at Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April and sixth in Mendrisio in September, with a Giro d’Italia stage win and the overall and stage victory at the Ster-Elektrotour in between.
Gilbert’s autumn run isn’t expected to continue in Saturday’s Giro di Lombardia, the season finale and a hard-man’s course in the steep climbs of Italy’s stunning lake country.
Silence-Lotto teammate and reigning world champion Cadel Evans is expected to step center-stage. Evans is a consistent Lombardia performing, notching two top-10s the past few years.
- 1. Philippe Gilbert (B), Silence – Lotto in 4:32:54
- 2. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Sp), Caisse s’Epargne, s.t.
- 3. Francesco Gavazzi (I), Lampre – NGC, s.t.
- 4. Luca Paolini (I), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe’ Mokambo, s.t.
- 5. Reinier Honig (Nl), Vacansoleil Pro Cycling, at 0:02
- 6. Paul Martens (G), Rabobank, at 0:02
- 7. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Cofidis, ,at 0:04
- 8. Gerben Lowik (Nl), Vacansoleil Pro Cycling, at 0:04
- 9. Dries Devenyns (B), Quick Step, at 0:04
- 10. Pablo Lastras Garcia (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:04