A double vision.
Philippe Gilbert has won Paris-Tour twice in a row. I repeat, Philippe Gilbert has won Paris-Tour deux fois. That or he has a twin brother and they’re taking turns. Hard to say, anything is possible in the ProTour.
Winner of Thursday’s Coppa Sabatini, Gilbert took his own sweet tactical time in Paris-Tour. When at last the decisive move was made with seven kilometers to go, it was his team-mate Greg Van Avermaet who instigated things.
The attack forced Tom Boonen (Quickstep) to hook on to Avermaet’s wheel along with sprinter Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil). Shortly after, Gilbert bridged up and his teammate checked back into the Hotel Peloton.
It was race over from that point except for the two Belgian stars and their pretending-to-be-Belgian, Slovenian Bozic. Were they singing the classic 80’s funk hip hop song, Double Dutch Bus by Frankie Smith? Maybe not. In any case, there wasn’t too much cat and mousing, or shadow boxing or wheeling and dealing until the final 300 meters.
Perhaps the smart money was on Boonen’s sprint speed but Gilbert was sure of his chances. “When I am in a position like that, I am confident and so I was not afraid of Tom Boonen, ” said Gilbert. The attack seemed to surprise Boonen who made up little ground as Gilbert won by a bike length.
You could look at this years’ victory photo or the one from last year, doesn’t really matter, mon vieux. C’est La meme chose, Gilbert le vainqueur. Between Cadel Evans massive win in Mendrisio and Gilbert’s haul this week, the Silence Lotto squad is finishing the season in strong fashion.
Boonen must like any race that starts in Paris, no matter where it ends up. First place in Paris-Roubaix and now 2nd in Paris-Tours. He could win Milan-San Remo if they switched out Milan for the City of Lights.
The biggest winner was the rider in third place, Slovenia Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil). A stage six win in this year’s Vuelta Espana and a third place in Paris-Tour makes for a good year. As the guy who used to detail my car when I had money used to say, “You’re bonusing.” A big fat chapeau for Mr Bozic who will be taking a tres bon vacance very soon.
For Gilbert is was deja vu all over again. It appears that he likes Paris and Tour and all roads in between.