Philippe Gilbert Completes the Ardennes Classics Hat Trick Winning the 2011 Editions of Amstel Gold, Flèche-Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Philipe Gilbert, the Omega-Lotto Classics specialist from the Wallonne region of Belgium, survived a double attack from Andy and Frank Schleck on the Roche aux Faucons, the penultimate climb of the 255km hilly race through the Belgian countryside to win the 2011 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Gilbert hung onto until the end of the race, sandwiched between the Schleck brothers, who seemed unable or unwilling to attack, to win the race easily in the final sprint. Frank Schleck finished second, followed by brother Andy.
Earlier this week, Gilbert won the mid-week Classic, la Flèche-Wallonne frustrating an on-form Frank Schleck. And on Sunday, August 17, 2011, Glibert caught Andy Schleck, the lone escapee, to win the Amstel Gold Race.
This amazing cycling performance - winning all three Ardennes Classics – was last accomplished in 2004 by Italian cyclist, Davide Rebellin. Rebellin's accomplishments were subsequently discredited when he was found to have used CERA, a form of EPO, in 2009.