Fabian Cancellara wins Paris-Roubaix 2013

Two-man sprint decides the race on the velodrome

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) pulled off a thrilling performance to win the 2013 Paris-Roubaix in a dramatic sprint finish with Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco). Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma QuickStep) sealed the final place on the podium.

Cancellara and Vanmarcke pulled clear on the Carrefour de l'Arbre pave when Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma QuickStep) and then his teammate Zdenek Stybar crashed into spectators. But for one last ditch attack from Cancellara in the closing five kilometres, the leading duo shared the pace setting all the way to the Roubaix velodrome.

Vanmarcke led out, but Cancellara simply had more in the tank and had enough to win his third Roubaix title and his second Flanders and Roubaix double of his career.

“I was in another world of riding! I still don’t know how I did it. I was dropped and pretty far back but then I started to move up. This is a race you can never give up on until the end. I had to play with him in the end because I tried to go away but he followed so then I knew it was man against man. I’m happy for the team and for me. Now I look forward to rest and a holiday. Mission accomplished,” Cancellara said.

The foundations for Cancellara's win were built on solid work from his teammates, who controlled the race in the opening 200 kilometres, never allowing a break to gain more than two minutes and then shepherding their leader towards the front on the Auchy-lez-Orchies - Bersée sector of pave.

It was clear from as early as last weekend's Flanders triumph that Cancellara would be the marked man, but he took the race by the scruff of the neck and although his surge forward in Orchies didn't win him the race, it drew out his main challengers. Thor Hushovd, Taylor Phinney and Edvald Boasson Hagen were the first to fall by the wayside but those that remained played their cards, and allowed Cancellara both a brief respite and opportunity to see would match him.

By the end of the 11th sector, only Cancellara, the Omega Pharma-Quickstep trio Nikki Terpstra, Zdenek Stybar and Vandenbergh, Europcar duo Sébastien Turgot, Damien Gaudin, Blanco duo Sep Vanmarcke and Lars Boom and also Sebastiaan Langeveld, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Bernard Eisel (Sky), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Luca Paolini (Katusha) remained in contention.

In front, Langeveld and Vanmarcke anticipated the next pavé stretch where Vandenbergh and Gaudin impressed as they rode away from the rest of the group. Behind the four leaders, a poker game unfolded. The result was that four more riders rode away from the Cancellara group. When exiting sector 7, the eight leaders were Langeveld, Vanmarcke, Gaudin, Vandenbergh, Stybar, Van Avermaet, Flecha and Paolini.

On the roads towards sector 6, Cancellara closed to the eight leaders on his own, by far his most impressive feat in the race. Having dropped back to his team car and dragging Boom, Terpstra and Eisel with him, he quickly realised he had isolated three major threats. Within a flash, he had left them for dust and was soon back with the Flecha group.

The peloton on one of the numerous cobbled sectors

Meanwhile Vandenbergh and Vanmarcke didn't wait for Spartacus and snuck off the front. When reaching sector 6, Cancellara and also Terpstra joined the chase group, half a minute behind the two Belgian leaders. On the same section where Cancellara crashed during the reconnaissance, the second part of sector 6, the cobbles of Bourghelles à Wannehain, the Swiss rider accelerated. Only Stybar was able to keep up with Spartacus.

While Cancellara time trialed towards the two leaders on the wide roads after the cobbles, Stybar tried to hold his wheel. Just before reaching sectors 5 and 4 there were four leaders in the race: Cancellara, Vanmarcke and teammates Vandenbergh and Stybar. Chasers Flecha, Langeveld, Terpstra, Van Avermaet and Gaudin were half a minute down on the leaders. A large group with Boom, Eisel, Paolini, Kristoff, Leukemans and others were further behind.

Vandenbergh was already losing contact on the cobbles of the Carrefour de l'Arbre when he clipped a spectator and fell in the early phase of the sector, leaving Stybar with the difficult job of marking both Cancellara and Vanmarcke.

The former cyclo-cross star looked comfortable on the cobbles though, but when he also rode into a fan, there was no way back.

Bright skies for Compiègne start

In contrast to the massive crowds in Bruges last week, the start in Compiègne was much more low-key. Teams were still rolling in toward the Place Charles de Gaulle in front of the Compiègne castle less than an hour before the start of the race. While temperatures dived under freezing point early in the morning, the sun did enough to persuade riders to wear short-sleeved kits once the race got underway at 10:20 am.

The pace was high right from the start with many teams trying to get a rider in the breakaway group. Thirteen riders managed to get a gap after 17km of racing, but the sizeable group didn't receive the ok from the peloton. The outcome was a blistering fast first hour of racing, averaging just under 50km per hour. The group was caught, and several more attempts fell short.

Upon hitting the first pavé sectors after 100km of racing, the peloton was back together. On the second cobbled stretch of the day, there was a crash which quickly reduced the peloton and hindered men like Stijn Devolder and Ian Stannard. In front, four riders finally managed to get away. Former winner Stuart O'Grady (Orica-Greenedge) was joined by Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Matthew Hayman (Sky) and Clément Koretzky (Bretagne-Seche Environnement). The four got away in sector 22, at 124km from the finish. Behind them, André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) tried to bridge up but the German sprinter fell short. At the back of the peloton, Yoann Offredo (FDJ) crashed out of the race when he didn't notice a traffic island.

The four leaders built up a lead of more than two minutes over the peloton where Team Saxo-Tinkoff set the pace for their leader Matti Breschel when heading towards the famous Wallers-Arenberg forest. Steegmans led the breakaway into the Trouée Arenberg with a gap of 1:30 on the peloton. Thanks to the efforts from Taylor Phinney (BMC), John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) and Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) that gap was brought down to 40 seconds once out of the 2400m long pavé sector. In contrast to previous years, there were barely no crashes in this zone.

The four leaders struggled to hold off the peloton which at sector 17 closed in to touching distance. Nevertheless they reached sector 16 with a 30-second bonus. At that point Steegmans and Hayman left their companions behind. At the same time, Michael Schär (BMC) launched a solo move to join the leaders. In the peloton, outsiders like Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida), Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ) and Geraint Thomas (Sky) were affected by a crash while BMC's leader Thor Hushovd (BMC) flatted.

After 185km of racing and with 69km left to cover, the riders reached the second feed zone. The duo forced Schär to work hard and long but 20km after his initial acceleration, he finally joined the two leaders. A little later, Damien Gaudin (Europcar) bridged up with the leaders, who were riding only half a minute ahead of the reduced peloton.

Sector 11 was the first one where Cancellara moved to the front and from there the pace never dropped. By the time the race reached sector 10, the famous Mons-en-Pévèle the leaders were caught.

Fabian Cancellara hoists his third Paris-Roubaix cobblestone trophy above his head

Former Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) flatted while his compatriot Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) impressed in front. No more than 13 riders survived the selection of this sector. They were top favourite Cancellara, Terpstra, Stybar, Vandenbergh, Turgot, Gaudin, Vanmarcke, Boom, Langeveld, Van Avermaet, Eisel, Flecha and Paolini. A little later, Turgot dropped out of the lead group with a flat tyre and Cancellara moved into position.

“It’s amazing having a third victory. When I see how in this race everyone was against our team, against me, I just had to do a selection. The team came into a little bit of difficulty because we lost a few guys because of bad luck. But that’s Roubaix. It’s always nice to win alone but today there was pure fighting until the very end. I could not believe it when I crossed the finish line. My legs and my head wanted to bring me here,” Cancellara said.


1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard 5:45:33  
2 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
3 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:31  
4 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
5 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar    
6 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:39  
7 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge    
8 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
9 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 0:00:50  
10 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar    
11 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling    
12 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling    
13 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
14 Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
15 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
16 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
17 Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
18 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
19 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
20 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
21 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha 0:01:00  
22 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:02:52  
23 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:13  
24 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol    
25 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
26 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ 0:03:17  
27 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
28 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 0:03:29  
29 Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
30 Robert Wagner (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
31 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
32 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
33 Roger Kluge (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura    
34 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
35 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team    
36 Tom Veelers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
37 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team    
38 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
39 Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling    
40 Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
41 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling    
42 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling    
43 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
44 Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano    
45 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
46 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge    
47 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
48 Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar    
49 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha 0:03:32  
50 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp    
51 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling    
52 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
53 Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack Leopard 0:06:07  
54 Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack Leopard 0:06:11  
55 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
56 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
57 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
58 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:08:37  
59 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 0:10:27  
60 Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
61 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2R La Mondiale    
62 Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
63 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team    
64 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha    
65 Pierre-Luc Perrichon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
66 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
67 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha    
68 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol    
69 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
70 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp    
71 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
72 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ 0:10:30  
73 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Sharp 0:13:16  
74 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:13:42  
75 Clément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
76 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:14:34  
77 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun    
78 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
79 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling    
80 Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack Leopard    
81 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
82 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team    
83 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
84 Bob Jungels (Lux) RadioShack Leopard    
85 Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
86 Grégory Rast (Swi) RadioShack Leopard 0:14:38  
87 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
88 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar    
89 Andrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
90 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ 0:14:40  
91 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
92 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
93 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
94 Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
95 Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura 0:19:12  
96 Stuart O'grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 0:20:37  
97 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling    
98 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
99 Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
100 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Sojasun    
101 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack Leopard    
102 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) Ag2R La Mondiale    
103 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:25:31  
104 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
105 Marko Kump (Slo) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
106 Dominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling    
107 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura    
108 Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura    
109 Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:26:16  
110 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
111 Edward King (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
112 William Clarke (Aus) Team Argos-Shimano    
113 Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
114 Jetse Bol (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
115 Russell Downing (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura    
116 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
117 Morgan Lamoisson (Fra) Team Europcar    
118 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff    
HD Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 0:43:59  
DNF Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
DNF Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar    
DNF Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard    
DNF Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling    
DNF Rick Flens (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha    
DNF Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha    
DNF Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha    
DNF Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ    
DNF David Boucher (Fra) FDJ    
DNF Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ    
DNF Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ    
DNF Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ    
DNF Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Evan Huffman (USA) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica-GreenEdge    
DNF Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
DNF Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
DNF Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge    
DNF Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Massimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Luca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling    
DNF Gustav Larsson (Swe) IAM Cycling    
DNF Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling    
DNF Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
DNF Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale    
DNF Hugo Houle (Can) Ag2R La Mondiale    
DNF Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Ag2R La Mondiale    
DNF Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Maxime Daniel (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Christophe Laborie (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Rony Martias (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Sojasun    
DNF Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
DNF Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
DNF Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling    
DNF Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura    
DNF Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura    
DNF Alexander Wetterhall (Swe) Team NetApp-Endura    
DNF Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team    
DNF Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Eloy Teruel Rovira (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Benjamin Le Montagner (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Peio Bilbao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Steffen Radochla (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Adrian Saez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF André Schulze (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DSQ Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team

Related Articles


Back to top