Michael Matthews was a close second with Tony Gallopin taking third.
The day’s early breakaway was overhauled by a group of six – Nathan Haas, Pieter Serry, Mathias Brändle, Björn Leukemans, Mauro Finetto, and Simon Gerrans – with just over 40 kilometres remaining.
But although they amassed a lead of nearly a minute, the peloton refused to allow the front pack to storm clear and reeled them in with eight kilometres still to ride.
A series of attacks ripped the peloton apart in the latter stages – Wout Poels almost pulling clear on the final climb – before Gilbert hit the front to lead out the final sprint and fend off Matthews to take victory on home soil.
"I had a good sprint to the finish, but Gilbert was just quicker today," said Matthews. "The sprint sort of worked out. My plan was to lay off and then come off the wheels at 50 metres to go. But I didn't quite have the legs to finish it off. It was a clean sprint, he clearly beat me."
1 Philippe Gilbert (BEL) BMC Racing 4:54:26
2 Michael Matthews (AUS) Orica +0
3 Tony Gallopin (FRA) Lotto +0
4 Simon Geschke (GER) Giant +0
5 Björn Leukemans (BEL) Wanty +0
6 Nathan Haas (AUS) Garmin +0
7 Davide Rebellin (ITA) CCC +0
8 Julien Vermote (BEL) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step +0
9 Sébastien Reichenbach (SUI) IAM Cycling +0
10 Alexey Tsatevich (RUS) Katyusha +0
- Sports & Recreation
- Michael Matthews
- Tony Gallopin
- Nathan Haas
- Simon Gerrans
- Pieter Serry
- Mauro Finetto