You can learn a lot from a rider’s nickname and Philippe ‘Boar of the Ardennes’ Gilbert is no exception given his fondness of attacking and perseverance in poor weather conditions. Before transferring to Team Lotto Soudal in 2019, Gilbert rode for the Quick-Step Floors outfit from 2017, after five years with BMC during which he won the UCI Road World Championship in 2012. Gilbert’s second most notable achievement is being the second person (and first Belgian) in history to win all three Ardennes classics – the Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège – in a single year in 2011. Furthermore, he won both the Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in a single 2017 season, which takes a very special talent as the two races couldn’t be more different route-wise, demanding both sprinter and climber abilities. The last Belgian before Gilbert to win both races was Eddy Merckx. Alongside his classics skills, he has won stages at each of the grand tours, scoring 11 wins across the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and La Vuelta.
Tune in on Wednesday 24th June, 5 PM (CET) with Laura Meseguer to find out how a specific landscape around one small Belgian town fashioned an adaptable cyclist, how does it feel to have one’s grand plans interrupted by a pandemic, how do you train for versatility and stamina and more.
For the preceding #Ride2Unite livestream with not one but three special guests involved in the first-ever UK’s women’s virtual stage race Škoda V-Series Women’s Tour, Juliet Elliott, Adam Blythe and Dame Sarah Storey, head over here and here.