Philippe Gilbert wins worlds road race
VALKENBURG, Netherlands -- Philippe Gilbert of Belgium sprinted away on the closing Cauberg climb for victory in the men's road race Sunday at the Road Cycling World Championships, winning again on a hill he dominates like few other riders.
Gilbert, who has twice won the Amstel Gold Race in the same hilly Dutch province, showed his experience by waiting patiently before powering away from a large group, punching the air as he crossed the line on his own.
"I had time to enjoy those last 200 meters," he said.
Gilbert lives nearby and knows the course well, winning back-to-back Amstel Gold Race titles in 2010 and 2011.
"I'm a local boy, so it is incredible," he said.
Gilbert is a one-day classic specialist who eats up small, steep hills like those in Sunday's race. He said he knew his form was good after winning two stages in the Spanish Vuelta a few weeks ago, both on stages similar to Sunday's race.
"I profited from a course that suited me really well," he said.
The diminutive Belgian burst away with just under two miles to race. His powerful kick left his opponents fighting for the minor medals instead of sprinting for gold on the flat final straight.
Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway was second and Alejandro Valverde of Spain third.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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