Professional bike riders cover a lot of kilometres. Obviously. But how many take a moment to reflect on those specific kilometres that have defined their career?
Well Philippe Gilbert has, and after the Belgian rider realised he’d covered a whopping half a million of them in his 12-year career, he picked out three of his favourites on Twitter. There’s no surprises really though, with all them being the final kilometre at races before he crossed the line in victory.
But anyway, here is the official countdown of Philippe Gilbert favourite three kilometres EVER:
1. UCI Road World Championships 2012, Valkenburg
Not exactly unexpected this one, being arguably Phil’s greatest triumph. In case you didn’t know, he’s pretty good on the climb of the Cauberg that featured in the finale of that year’s world champs road race, having won Amstel Gold Race three times.
The final kilometre (and Gilbert’s favourite) comes after the Cauberg, though he doesn’t seem to be enjoying quite as much at the time as he digs deep after 268km to hold off the peloton and take the rainbow jersey.
2. Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 2011
Not just one, but two. That’s the number of Schlecks Gilbert had to hold off in the closing kilometre of Liège in 2011. No wonder its a favourite.
Really, the now BMC man, riding then for Omega Pharma Lotto, should hold off both Andy and Frank in a sprint finish but its his only Liège victory to date, so no surprise it sits in the top three.
3. Trofeo Mallorca, 2008, Palma
And in at three…this one.
Remember that? No, me neither. But watching it back you can see why Phil enjoys it.
On what looked to be a sprinter’s day at the Trofeo Mallorca, he makes a jump off the front which would more often than not, come to nothing.
But Gilbert holds on, and took the win in the early season race on the Spanish island, which quite unbelievably, doesn’t make it into the ‘Major wins’ category on Wikipedia. Sorry Phil.