Rider Type: Classics all-rounder
Despite being Belgian, Gilbert started his career at French team FDJ in 2003. In 2005 he won enough French races to win the Coupe de France series. The following year he won his first Classic – Omloop het Nieuwsblad. 2008 saw him podium Milan San Remo for the first time, win Omloop again and win Le Samyn.
He moved to Silence-Lotto in 2009 and won his first monument – Il Lombardia. Gilbert won Amstel Gold in 2010 and stage of the Vuelta for the first time too. 2011 was an incredible year, Gilbert pretty much won every race he took part – or it felt that way.
He won – Liège Bastogne Liège, Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne, Brabantse Pijl, Strade Bianche, San Sebastian, Québec & more. He moved to BMC for 2012 where he had a quiet Spring but won the World Championships instead. The curse of the rainbow stripes struck when he only won a Vuelta stage of note in 2013.
Back on form in 2014 he won Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold again. Moving to Quickstep in 2017 rejuvenated Gilbert, he won Flanders and Amstel that year. He added Paris Roubaix in 2019, leaving Milan San Remo left to complete the full monuments set. A true all-rounder he’s won on both cobbles and the Ardennes hills.
Greatest Race Victory
2017 Tour of Flanders
Kapelmuur was back on the race route and Tom Boonen, in his final De Ronde, led up it taking a small group clear with him. That group had left Sagan and Van Avermaet behind so pushed on hard. Reaching the Oude
Kwaremont, it was Gilbert’s turn and he found himself alone at the top with 55km left to race.
Behind the chase was disrupted. Vanmarcke fell, taking Luke Rowe with him. Boonen had a mechanical on the Taaienberg which saw him lose time. With 35km to go, Sagan/Van Avermaet had finally closed up to the chase group and were pushing on. On the final ascent of the Oude Kwaremont, Sagan clipped a spectactor’s jacket with his bars and crashed.
Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen couldn’t avoid it and went down too. Ahead, Gilbert struggled up the Paterberg but still had 50 seconds lead. Van Avermaet chased hard and the gap came down but Gilbert hung on to win an epic solo victory.
Spring Classics Palmares
Liège Bastogne Liège
Tour of Flanders
Amstel Gold Race
2010, 2011, 2014, 2017
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad