April 11, 2010
Paris-Roubaix 2010 – Compiègne – Roubaix : 259 km
After the extended series of Belgian cobbled classics, the men’s professional peloton heads across the border into northern France this weekend for the 108th edition of Paris-Roubaix.
April 11, 2010
Paris-Roubaix 2010 – Compiègne – Roubaix : 259 km
After the extended series of Belgian cobbled classics, the men’s professional peloton heads across the border into northern France this weekend for the 108th edition of Paris-Roubaix. The 259km race is known as the ‘Queen of the Classics’ and the ‘l’enfer du Nord’ because of the hellish conditions the area was left in after the first world war and because of the terrible conditions the riders have to overcome on the 27 sections and 52.9km of cobbles during the race.
Fabian Cancellara stamped his absolute authority on the 2010 Classics season as he claimed his second Paris-Roubaix title in France on Sunday afternoon. In a sublime display, the Swiss champion simply rode his rivals off his wheel near the Mons-en-Pévèle sector, with still more than 50 kilometres-to-go. A little over an hour later he rode solo into the velodrome at Roubaix.
The peloton had held a minutes silence at the start of the race in Compiegne to honour the memory of two-time winner Franco Ballerini. After securing his first Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix double, Cancellara paid his own homage to the man with whome he will now forever share the honour of multiple Roubaix titles.
“I wanted the double, I wanted to do something that left a mark in the history of cycling,” said Cancellara after his win. “Many great riders have won this race and it’s an honour for me to now have won it twice like the late Franco Ballerini did. That’s just one of the reasons why I wanted to do the double.”
For the second week in a row, Cancellara was in a class of his own. The E3 Prijs-Harelbeke and Tour of Flanders Champion’s race-winning surge gave way to a more than hour-long time trial, which, at points, saw him put three minutes into a select group of the best Classics riders on the planet.
“I hadn’t planned to attack in that moment,” said Cancellara, echoing his comments after Flanders a week prior. “But that’s racing, it’s important to seize the right moment and I got it exactly right. When I went, the gap was there and it was increasing, so I went full gas but with a little left just in case because there was a long way to go. But I made it.”
Of those left in his wake, Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) and Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) proved the strongest as they rode clear of a six-man chase group on the Carrefour de l’Arbre sector of pavé to secure second and third.
Behind them, the chase group also fractured under the strain of almost 250 kilometres of racing. Hushovd’s teammate Roger Hammond finished fourth, on the same time as pre-race favourite and defending Champion, Tom Boonen (Quick Step). Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) were the last to finish of the former six-man group.
There was a distinct sense of déjà vu as Cancellara stormed across the final 11 sectors alone. Despite a few bobbles on the uneven surface and one or two excursions onto the grass verges, his smooth style was reminiscent of a week earlier when he rode away from Boonen at the Tour of Flanders. However, he upped the ante this week to humble the men considered contenders in the lead-up to the weekend.
Overcome by emotion after crossing the finish line, the dust on Cancellara’s face was broken by streams of tears as he embraced his wife and team management on the infield of the velodrome, which just moments before had erupted in celebration as he had swung left onto the track for his one-and-a-half laps of honour.
Cancellara became the first man in five years to claim both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix titles in the same season, Boonen the man to precede him, in 2005.
From Paris to the pavé
Some five hours earlier on a clear day in northern France, a large breakaway group had opened the first selection of the race. Nineteen riders featured in this leaders’ group, including:
Romain Zingle (Cofidis), Maarten Wynants (Quick Step), Gorik Gardeyn (Vacansoleil), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo TestTeam), Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Chris Sutton and Gregory Henderson (Sky), Matthew Goss and Adam Hansen (HTC-Columbia), Rick Flens and Tom Leezer (Rabobank), Yohann Gene (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Mitchell Docker and Roy Curvers (Skil-Shimano), Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank), Stephane Poulhies and Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur Sojasun).
A strong head wind kept the race close to its slowest estimated time schedule, but upon reaching the first pavé sector after almost hundred kilometres of racing the gap to the leaders’ had managed to carve out an advantage of more than four minutes. However, the arrival of the cobbles began the gradual grind on the leaders’ advantage.
Despite the reduction in the gap, the lead group were still the first to enter the Arenberg forest (sector 17). Behind, Saxo Bank took the approach of the forest as their cue and increased the speed in the peloton – the gap on the leaders dropping below two minutes.
The Trouee Arenberg wasn’t as slippery as it has been in previous editions and there much fewer crashes on the 2400 meters long pavé sector. However, it retained its ability to re-shape the race. Cancellara and Boonen led the peloton through the forest and by the time they appeared on the asphalt, the gap to the now nine remaining leaders was less than a minute.
Team Sky accelerated at sector 14 (Tilloy à Sars-et-Rosières – at 167km), causing several riders – among them David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) – to get dropped from the peloton.
After passing the second feed zone at 68 kilometers from the finish the last four breakaway riders – Wynants, Hansen, Hunt and Sutton – were caught back by the now 30-rider front peloton. Boonen laid down several accelerations in the ten kilometers that followed, but the Belgian Champion’s attacks were easily neutralized by Cancellara and the other favourites.
“Boonen’s attacks didn’t bother me and I didn’t want to play his game. He tried to do his race and I did mine,” said Cancellara afterwards of Boonen’s moves.
What didn’t work for Boonen was no problem for three other riders. Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) and Sebastien Hinault (Ag2R-La Mondiale) created a small gap over the favourites group – which was proceeding without Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) or Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank.
In between sector 11 and 10, Boonen took a breather at the back of the main group and that’s when the race was decided. Cancellara sneaked away from the front and consolidated his sudden advantage on 3000 meters-long sector at Mons-en-Pévèle. The Swiss Champion quickly bridged up with Hoste, Hinault and Leukemans. Of the trio, only Leukemans was able to keep up with the Swiss champion, but in time he too was dislodged.
In the chase group, Boonen’s attempt to bridge to Cancellara was unsuccessful in its major objective, but created a selection of eight men. Flecha, Leukemans, Pozzato, Hoste, Hushovd, Hammond and Hinault the men with the tickets to ride. Despite the organisation behind, by the time Cancellara entered the next pavé sector (Mérignies à Le Prez at 216km) his gap was already up to more than half a minute.
George Hincapie and three HTC-Columbia riders were trailing in the second group, but failed in their bid to bridge up to the eight chasers.
As the rest of the race scrambled to defend their position, Cancellara was forging ahead in an impromptu individual time trial, which saw him build a lead of more than two minutes as he commenced the last 20 kilometres.
In the chasing group Leukemans was dropped after suffering a flat tyre. An acceleration from Flecha saw the numbers in the chase group reduced even further, as both Pozzato and Hoste lost contact with the group.
Flecha’s attack typified the apparent desperation of the chase group, who could do nothing to pull back time on the Swiss locomotive that was forging his own path across the pavé. The advantage wavered between 2:30 and 3:00, with almost all the momentum in Cancellara’s favour.
When Cancellara hit the Carrefour de l’Arbre with 16 kilometres to race, he had almost three minutes advantage on the bunch. And when he hit sector 3 (Gruson at 244km) the buffer had grown to 3:12, and despite the grimace fixed to his dust covered face he looked every bit a man in control of the situation.
Behind, Pozzato and Leukemans had rejoined the chase group, but as they hit the Carrefour the race for places was reshaped. Flecha and Hushovd setting off together, as Boonen, Pozzato, Hammond and Leukemans formed a second chase group. Again, the acceleration behind had a momentary effect on the gap to the leader, but at 2:45, it was hardly any threat to the Swiss Champion.
With the final sector of cobbles negotiated, Cancellara sacrificed some of his advantage as he drifted across towards his team car to throw several well-earned high-fives. The little gold Angel trinket given to him by his wife and daughter prior to his Flanders win was again extracted from his jersey pocket as a broad grin stretched across his face.
Sweeping around the final right-hand turn and into the velodrome Cancellara rode his half lap with his hands firmly attached to his handlebars, but as the final loop began so did his celebrations. He first clutched his helmet in disbelief and then raised his arms to salute one of the most commanding Paris-Roubaix victories in recent years.
Two minutes later, Flecha led Hushovd into the velodrome. As expected, the Norwegian used his superior sprint prowess to swing inside on the final banking to grab second place from the exhausted Spaniard.
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 6:35:10
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 0:02:00
3 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Professional Cycling Team
4 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team 0:03:14
5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
6 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:03:20
7 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha 0:03:46
8 Leif Hoste (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:05:16
9 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:27
10 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Team HTC – Columbia 0:06:59
11 Grégory Rast (Swi) Team Radioshack 0:07:00
12 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne 0:07:05
13 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil – Shimano
14 Dominic Klemme (Ger) Team Saxo Bank
15 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step
16 Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Team Katusha
17 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
18 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervelo Test Team
19 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux
20 Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
21 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team HTC – Columbia
22 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin – Transitions
23 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo
24 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team
25 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
26 Michael Barry (Can) Sky Professional Cycling Team
27 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
28 Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
29 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team
30 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack
31 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank
32 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram
33 Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervelo Test Team
34 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
35 Frank Hoj (Den) Team Saxo Bank
36 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank 0:07:21
37 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Team Katusha 0:07:27
38 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team HTC – Columbia 0:09:33
39 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
40 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-Farnese Vini 0:11:01
41 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux 0:12:44
42 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step
43 Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram 0:12:47
44 Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil – Shimano
45 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
46 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
47 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil – Shimano
48 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Team Radioshack
49 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Team Katusha
50 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
51 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack
52 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:14:00
53 Theo Bos (Ned) Cervelo Test Team 0:14:32
54 Rafai Chtioui (Tun) Acqua & Sapone
55 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
56 Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
57 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
58 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram
59 Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
60 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:14:36
61 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française Des Jeux
62 Yohann Gene (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
63 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
64 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:14:38
65 Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team
66 William Bonnet (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
67 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Cervelo Test Team
68 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Team Milram
69 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team
70 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
71 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step
72 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française Des Jeux 0:16:07
73 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Team Katusha
74 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank 0:16:32
HD Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quick Step
HD Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step
HD Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step
HD Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step
HD Marco Bandiera (Ita) Team Katusha
HD Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Katusha
HD Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha
HD Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team
HD Adam Blyth (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HD Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HD Glenn d’Hollander (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HD Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HD Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HD Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team
HD Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
HD Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank
HD Baden Cooke (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
HD Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Saxo Bank
HD Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank
HD Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
HD Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
HD Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
HD Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo
HD Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas-Doimo
HD Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) Française Des Jeux
HD Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
HD Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Française Des Jeux
HD Arthur Vichot (Fra) Française Des Jeux
HD Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram
HD Thomas Fothen (Ger) Team Milram
HD Roger Kluge (Ger) Team Milram
HD Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram
HD Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team HTC – Columbia
HD Adam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC – Columbia
DNF Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Team HTC – Columbia
DNF Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Team HTC – Columbia
DNF Martin Velits (Svk) Team HTC – Columbia
DNF Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
DNF Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank
DNF Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank
DNF Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank
DNF Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank
DNF Alfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
DNF Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre-Farnese Vini
DNF Marcin Sapa (Pol) Lampre-Farnese Vini
DNF Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNF Damien Gaudin (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNF Saïd Haddou (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNF Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNF Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNF Guillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNF Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNF Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNF Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNF Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNF Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne
DNF Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
DNF Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Caisse d’Epargne
DNF Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
DNF Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
DNF Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne
DNF Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
DNF Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
DNF Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
DNF Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
DNF Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
DNF Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil – Shimano
DNF Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil – Shimano
DNF Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil – Shimano
DNF Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil – Shimano
DNF Steve Houanard (Fra) Skil – Shimano
DNF Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Transitions
DNF Steven Cozza (USA) Garmin – Transitions
DNF Julian Dean (NZl) Garmin – Transitions
DNF David Millar (GBr) Garmin – Transitions
DNF Danny Pate (USA) Garmin – Transitions
DNF Ricardo Van Der Velde (Ned) Garmin – Transitions
DNF Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin – Transitions
DNF Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel – Euskadi
DNF Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
DNF Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
DNF Andres Sergio De Lis (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
DNF Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
DNF Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
DNF Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Team Radioshack
DNF Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Team Radioshack
DNF Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Team Radioshack
DNF Bjorn Selander (USA) Team Radioshack
DNF Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
DNF Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNF Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team
DNF John Murphy (USA) BMC Racing Team
DNF Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNF Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team
DNF Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNF Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
DNF Cedric Coutouly (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
DNF Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
DNF Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
DNF Rony Martias (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
DNF Romain Matheou (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
DNF Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
DNF Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
DNF Francesco Di Paolo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
DNF Fantini Alessandro (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
DNF Reinier Honig (Ned) Acqua & Sapone
DNF Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
DNF Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Androni Giocattoli
DNF Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNF Alberto Loddo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNF Damiano Margutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNF Fabrice Piemontesi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNF Luca Solari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNS Fabio Taborre (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNS Cameron Wurf (Aus) Androni Giocattoli