Philippe Gilbert adds Belgian time trial championship to 2011 haul
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Monday, August 15, 2011

Philippe Gilbert adds Belgian time trial championship to 2011 haul

by Ben Atkins at 1:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
Road champion takes second driekleur in incredible season; Liesbet De Vocht takes women’s title from teammate Grace Verbeke

philippe gilbertEvidently coming out of the Eneco Tour with very hot form, Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has added the time trial driekleur to the one he already wears in road races. Gilbert, who admits that time trialling is far from his speciality, beat Ben Hermans (RadioShack) by ten seconds, and Dominique Cornu (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) by eighteen.

“This is really nice,” Gilbert told Sporza. “It’s my first time trial victory as a professional. I was really motivated and gave everything; being the double champion is something special.”

Hermans had the best time halfway around the 36.5km course in Tervuren, to the east of Brussels. He was only four seconds ahead of Gilbert though, with Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) seven seconds back. Where De Gendt faded, to finish fifth, Gilbert managed to complete the second half of the course much faster than the RadioShack rider to take the victory.

In a disappointing performance that doesn’t augur well for the upcoming Vuelta a España, defending champion Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM) – who held both driekleurs last year – could only manage 12th, 1’32” behind Gilbert. Almost as disappointingly, 2009 champion Maxime Monfort (HTC-Highroad) finished tenth, 1’23” back.

While Gilbert is far from a time trial specialist he has performed well in a number of events against the clock during his incredible 2011 season. In May he finished second in the prologue of the Tour of Belgium, while he also finished eighth in the prologue of last week’s Eneco Tour. Although both of these were over short distances, his 25th place in the longer fourth stage against the clock was comparable with specialists like David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo); he also beat Hermans in that event by 22 seconds.

De Vocht takes women’s race from teammate Verbeke

In the women’s race, over a shorter 21.6km course, Liesbet De Vocht (Topsport Vlaanderen 2012-Ridley) took the title to add to her 2010 road jersey. The 31-year-old, who was last year’s silver medallist, took the title away from teammate Grace Verbeke – the 2010 Ronde van Vlaanderen winner – by twelve seconds. Two-time road champion Ludovine Henrion (Lotto Honda) was a close third, just 17 seconds back.

“This is unexpected, but also expected at the same time,” De Vocht said in Het Laatste Nieuws. “It’s expected because I’ve come out of the Giro d’Italia in good shape, but it’s unexpected because I haven’t really focused on this championship.

“I’ve only sat on my time trial bike about five times and the time trial is not really a priority for me,” she added.

Belgian Time Trial Championships – Elite Men
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto, 36.5km in 46'31"
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack @ 10s
3. Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator @ 18s
4. Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad @ 26s
5. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM @ 38s
6. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator @ 54s
7. Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto @ 1'05"
8. Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick Step @ 1'11"
9. Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Verandas Willems-Accent @ 1'18"
10. Maxime Monfort (Bel) HTC-Highroad @ 1'23"

Belgian Time Trial Championships – Elite Women
1. Liesbet De Vocht (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 2012-Ridley 21.6km in 32’16”
2. Grace Verbeke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 2012-Ridley @ 12s
3. Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Lotto Honda Team @ 17s
4. Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lotto Honda Team @ 20s
5. Jessie Daams (Bel) Garmin-Cervélo @ 29s
6. Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Wielerclub Steeds Vooraan @ 57s
7. Latoya Brulee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 2012-Ridley @ 1’08”
8. Alexandre Tondeur (Bel) GKV Cycling Team @ 1’45”
9. Tessa De Moyer (Bel) De Sprinters Malderen @ 1’53”
10. Else Belmans (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 2012-Ridley @ 1’59”


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