'You need certain skills to ride the cobbles, it's not like you lose those overnight'

Philippe Gilbert says that you never lose the skill of how to ride fast on the cobbles of Belgium, as he faces a full classics campaign for the first time in five years

Philippe Gilbert in Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) is not surprised that he is riding so well on the cobbles this 2017 season even though it has been five years since he last raced a full Classics campaign.

Gilbert, who joined Quick-Step from BMC Racing this winter, helped team-mate Yves Lampaert win the Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday and stormed to second place behind him. It marked his first cobbled classics podium since the 2010 Tour of Flanders.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.