World Championships 2010
Philippe Gilbert, as in the last edition of Liege, today was probably the strongest of the peloton, but ended up victim of his own repeated attacks, of the wind and the course that favored a recovery from the group behind him.
He raced always at the front, attacked 3 times on the climb, at 40, 30 and 10 km from the finish: he got 20" advantage with 5 km to go, but was inexorably swallowed back by the group of the best riders at the 2 km mark.
So Hushovd won the sprint, after having raced covered and protected all day, risking even to lose the race when at 80 km from the finish line he got dropped from the leaders together with a fading Cancellara and Freire.
In the lead there were in fact 32 riders, with 5 italians (Pozzato, Nibali and Visconti) and 4 belgians captained by Gilbert. At 40 km from the end, Visconti and Nibali accelerated uphill, with Gilbert responding and Pozzato marking his wheel: 5 managed to get away, but eventually this move destroyed the group of 32, favoring the catching up of the chasing Freire-Hushovd-Cancellara group.
The next lap, 30 km from the finish, saw the uphill attack by Leukemans to try and launch Gilbert, with Pozzato at his wheel: the 3 got caught by Evans and Kolobnev, but shortly after also by the rest of the group. In the last lap Leukemans repeated his attack and Gilbert tried on his own; Kolobnev and Evans were the most active in the chase, but in the end the group with the best riders managed to pull him back and the sprint was dominated by the norwegian.