Gilbert snatches World Tour lead from Cadel Evans

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has won the Grand Prix de Québec in Canada, moving past Tour de France winner Cadel Evans in this year's World Tour rankings. The Belgian champion was determined to take the top spot and can call himself the best cyclist of 2011.

Gilbert was the best in an uphill finish after 201.6 kilometres, leaving Dutchman Robert Gesink behind him. Rigoberto Uran took third place.

Philippe Gilbert, the Belgian champion, rides for the Belgian team Omega Pharma-Lotto but will move to the BMC team of Cadel Evans and Thor Hushovd next season.

Gilbert - he is a real Belgian as he speaks both French and Flemish to the Belgian journalists - is now heading the UCI's World Tour ranking again, pushing Tour de France winner Cadel Evans to second place. He is bound to keep that position until the end of the season, as Cadel Evans has no big plans to take part in any major races during the rest of this season. The same goes for the number 3 in the rankings, Alberto Contador.

"The pressure was enormous"

The number 1 spot makes Gilbert the best rider of the season. Contrary to Cadel Evans, who took most of his points in the Tour de France, Gilbert owes his number 1 position to his victories in the spring classics and the one-day races.

"This was a victory of the stress", he told reporters in Québec. "The pressure was enormous. Everybody expected me to move past Cadel Evans because I was so close to him in the rankings. And I did it. I really wanted this first place as it involves a lot of prestige. I am very happy."

The UCI's World Tour rankings for 2011:

  1. Philippe Gilbert  (Belgium) 648 points
  2. Cadel Evans (Australia)   574
  3. Alberto Contador (Spain) 471
  4. Michele Scarponi (Italy)    348
  5. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spain) 328
  6. Samuel Sanchez (Spain)   307
  7. Fränk Schleck (Luxemburg) 284
  8. Evald Boasson Hagen (Norway) 260
  9. Andy Schleck (Luxemburg) 252
  10. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) 250