A profile of Philippe Gilbert as our build-up continues to the Tour de France coming to west Essex and East London

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Philippe Gilbert wore the leaders' yellow jersey after winning the opening stage in 2011. Picture: Action Images Philippe Gilbert wore the leaders' yellow jersey after winning the opening stage in 2011. Picture: Action Images

One-day specialist Philippe Gilbert will not be a contender for the yellow jersey, but the former Road Race World Champion has more than enough to gain a second stage win at the Tour de France.

The Belgian has three Amstel Gold Race victories, two Giro di Lombardia triumphs and five stage wins at the Vuelta a Espana to his name.

Turning 32 when he sets off on the Grand Depart in Leeds, it will most likely be in England where Gilbert will look to attack for his second 'Le Tour' stage win.

In 2002, the Francaise des Jeux team signed Gilbert in 2002 and the Belgian would rack up two Omloop Het Volk one-day victories in the seven years spent with the French-based team.

Gilbert was signed up by the BMC Racing Team in 2012 in a bid to help teammate Cadel Evans retain his Tour De France crown only for the New Zealander to come unstuck against Britain’s Bradley Wiggins.

Nevertheless, the Belgian found success himself in his opening year with BMC after winning the Road Race World Championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands; a week after achieving second with the American-based group in the Team Time Trial World Championships.

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