The Belgian was thinking of winning the Lombardi race for a third time in his career, but the world champion was first distanced slightly on the Muro di Sormano and after being back in the group, he crashed heavily 70 kilometres from the finish. His teammate Alessandro Ballan also fell.
“With the cold, I was feeling a bit paralyzed and, at the beginning, I was afraid because I couldn't move for one or two minutes,” Gilbert said. “I feared there was something broken. Then I checked and saw everything was okay.”
He wasn't injured, but he still couldn't do much because he had lost so much time.
“In the end, it's a pity because I had good feelings and could have maybe done something,” he said.
“I'm feeling lucky I crashed now and not one week ago,” he continued. “If it had been a stage race, I think I wouldn't have abandoned. But today, after the crash, my race was over.”