Omega Pharma-Lotto’s Philippe Gilbert was honored as the winner of the 2011 UCI WorldTour on Thursday during the fifth Peace and Sport International Forum held in Monaco.
“We are proud to give this trophy to Philippe Gilbert, who has achieved an excellent season, in particular his five WorldTour victories and a stage win in the Tour de France,” said UCI president Pat McQuaid.
McQuaid added that he considered it “a great opportunity” to honor Gilbert during the Peace and Sport forum “because sport conveys positive messages for the building of sustainable peace in vulnerable communities throughout the world.”
“Philippe Gilbert is a good ambassador at once on his bike and outside of the races,” McQuaid continued. “For example, during the juniors conference organized by the UCI two days before the road world championship, we invited Philippe Gilbert to talk to young cyclists. It is important that an athlete knows also how to be a spokesman.”
For his part, Gilbert said he was delighted to win the WorldTour.
“This season has been a dream,” he said. “I started the year with two goals in mind — grab this title of world number one and make great victories in the classics. Winning this award is the culmination of a great battle.”