ROAD magazine Nov/Dec 2011 : Page 19
Mark Johnson 250 meters from the finish on the Cauberg, Philippe Gilbert makes his race-winning attack at the Amstel Gold Race on April 17, 2011. Joaquim Rodriguez is two meters behind, unable to match the sort of bold pounce that also saw the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider win hilly finishes at Brabantse Pijl four days earlier and at La Flèche Wallone and Liége-Bastogne-Liége the following week. When Gilbert, a Belgian, turned pro in 2003 he raised hackles with his vocal anti-doping stance. As a neo-pro he even said he could never be a Tour de France contender because of his unwillingness to dope. Gilbert’s win at this year’s first Tour de France stage on the Mont des Alouettes, along with his season-long domination gives hope that pro cycling is entering an era where clean, head-down effort is finally given its just rewards.