Fast Phil looked back to his best at the Brabantse Pijl and the Amstel Gold Race, winning both to remind everyone just how good he is in the Ardennes Classics.
Gilbert was caught behind a crash at La Fleche Wallonne, denying his legion of Belgian fans the chance to see how his uphill sprint would measure up, though he still finished in ninth place to serve up a reminder that he’s one of the favourites for the fourth Monument of the year.
Backed by a strong BMC Racing team, which also includes Great Britain’s Stephen Cummings, the Belgian has the support to dominate the race if it all clicks into play. Marcus Burghardt and Samuel Sanchez are equally capable of pulling huge shifts on the bunch and upping the tempo accordingly, while Darwin Atapuma will be keen to show his climbing legs again.
Gilbert knows what it takes to win La Doyenne, and victory would cap a superb week in the Ardennes region for the Walloon.