gilbert is only going to get better! boonen seems to be on the wane and
many of the older (32+) riders didn't factor into the podiums as often as
some of the younger riders this year. gilbert's biggest competition for
(spring) classics looks to be lovkvist, ebh, eisel, pinotti, pozzato, valverde,
haussler, cancellara, devolder, fedrigo & cunego. i'm sure i forgot a bunch
but it seems like the "young guns" have had/will exert a greater influence
on the one-days than they will during the grand tours on the gc. the gt gc is
still veteran-heavy but with the schlecks, contador, kreuziger, nibali, gesink,
martin et al, that is slowly changing too.
One of the more impressive closings to a season that I've seen in recent times.
This is not meant as a slight or anything of the sort but he was known to have been training with VDB in the weeks prior to his passing. The motivation of riding for a fallen friend coupled with his raging good form and natural aggressiveness made him a hard man to beat. For me its extremely gratifying to see him get these fine results since he has always been a rider who made the classics that he was in exciting with his attacking style. I was really impressed with his effort in LBL this year, with his failed attack so close to the finish and yet still able to finish 4th was an accomplishment.