Kill Phil. A murderers guide to Leige-Bastogne-Liege.
Kill Phil. The Quentin Tarantino sequel to his violent opus Kill Bill, is the story of several depserate and deranged bike racers in Liege who attempt to knock off an invincible guy named Philippe Gilbert. Alert the race doctor: there will be blood.
Maybe it’s crazy to think you could beat Philippe Gilbert of Omega-Pharma-Lotto, who in recent weeks has won Fleche Wallonne and Amstel Gold and wants the delerious threesome. The man has form coming out his posterior. He’s smoking hot, like some kinda chili pepper napalm Sichuan hot pot.
Twisted Spoke imagines three possible scenarios for defeating the new superman, the rider channeling Eddy. “I’m really impressed by what he’s done, what he’s done so far is better than Merckx,” the former Cannibal said.
As the old saying goes, “You gonna stop Gilbert? Yeah, you and what army?” That’s your answer right there. Call it the Amstel Gold strategy rev two, where this time the Leopard army doesn’t suddenly lose Frank Schleck and Fabian Cancellara to crashes. And Katusha, the Russian Global Cycling Shindig! plays their cards even smarter and more aggressively.
If things had gone according to plan in Amstel for Leopard and Katusha, they might still be drinking the champagne this week. Sadly for them, no, not, back to team bus heads down. The rest of the story being that Gilbert’s Omega men Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert rode like junkyard dogs for the Belgian.
It wasn’t that the strategy was flawed, it was just a mix of bad luck and slipped execution. This time both Schlecks must stay upright and have legs that kill. Same goes for Andre Tchmil’s Russian gang. Ivanov, Kolobnev and Di Lucanov have to execute the rib shot, the blow to the head and the kick in the cojones to perfection. Does Ivan Basso and Vince Nibali feel like getting up in Gilbert’s grill? Do Vino and Roman Kreuziger have a lead pipe and chainsaw? Will the two Spaniards, Samuel Sanchez and Igor Anton join forces? One-on-one doesn’t beat Gilbert, bring the whole gang.
Besides the bludgeon-to-death-with-superior-force approach, there’s the Johan Van Summeren gambit. Throw a talented rider off the front who is not an obvious threat to Gilbert and hope he doesn’t notice until it’s too late. Somebody like a Jacob Fuglslang, for example. Is Quickstep’s Sylvain Chavanel feeling frisky? What about a Ryder Hesjedal or a Janez Brajkovic? Then again, perhaps it’s time for the “hire a sniper” idea that Jonathan Vaughters considered to combat the supposedly invincible Fabian Cancellara during the cobbled classics. The Garmin boss had a stroke of genius there, but really he needed the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Or perhaps a Star Wars style subway car abduction.
Then finally there’s the one sure fire strategy, really the only game plan that would guarantee a win against a dominant, powerful and highly motivated rider like Philippe Gilbert: hope he comes down with the flu the night before.
That’s the trick. Either you gang up on him, hack him up with a razor sharp samurai blade or well, just pray he’s up all night vomiting.