Philippe Gilbert wins Aalst post-Tour criterium
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Philippe Gilbert wins Aalst post-Tour criterium

by Ben Atkins at 6:27 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Belgian champion “beats” mountains jersey Samuel Sanchez in evening race

philippe gilbertPhilippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) won the Natourcriteriu, the first of the Belgian post-Tour de France criteriums, in the Belgian town of Aalst. The Belgian champion put in a trademark late attack to finish three seconds ahead of polka-dot jersey winner Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), who outsprinted Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo), Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Gianni Meersman (FDJ).

The race, which began at 7:30pm European time, was run in front of 50,000 people, almost doubling the population of the town.

Gilbert and Vanendert were the first to put in an attack, early in the race; this was followed by an acceleration from Basso that strung out the entire peloton behind him.

Disaster almost struck the race four laps from the end when Gilbert suffered a rear puncture. Former Paris-Roubaix winner Andrea Tafi came to the Belgian champion’s aid though, giving him a new rear wheel, and he was able to retake the wheel of Vanendert after taking a lap out.

Eventually Gilbert dropped his teammate and soloed to victory, ahead of the group of Tour stars.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands town of Boxmeer, Lars Boom (Rabobank) soloed to victory in the first of the Dutch criteriums. The former cyclocross World champion finished ahead of Tour hero Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM), who outsprinted Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) for third.

The post-Tour criterium circuits continue on Tuesday in Roeselare, Belgium and Stiphout, Netherlands.

Result Natourcriterium Aalst
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto)
2. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 3s
3. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
4. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
5. Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ
6. Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto @ 12s
7. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Koen Barbé (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
9. Sven Van Den Houte (Bel) Verandas Willems-Accent
10. Steven De Neef (Bel) Jong Vlaanderen-Bauknecht

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