Boonen triumphs at Paris-Roubaix

Belgian equals De Vlaeminck's record of four victories

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) rode into the record books with a dominant solo victory at Paris-Roubaix. The 31-year-old Belgian rode the final 52km alone to win by 1:39 over a five-man chase group led across the finish line in the Roubaix velodrome by Sébastien Turgot (Europcar). Alessandro Ballan (BMC) rounded out the podium for third place in a photo-finish with the Frenchman.

With the victory Boonen equals Roger De Vlaeminck's all-time win record of four victories in the Hell of the North, and for the second time in Boonen's career he's claimed the Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix double in the same season.

A sunny, dry day for Paris-Roubaix

Right after rolling out of sunny Compiègne the attacks came thick and fast as riders sought to make the early escape. A huge group of 25 rider wasn’t allowed much distance as the peloton kept riding at high speed. Finally, after 70km of fast-paced, aggressive racing, a group of 12 riders rolled off the front and the peloton let them go. The group consisted of Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack-Nissan), Kenny De Haes (Lotto-Belisol), Frederik Veuchelen and Bert Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM). David Boucher (FDJ-Big Mat). Michael Morkov (Team Saxo Bank), David Veilleux (Team Europcar), Dominic Klemme (Argos-Shimano), Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun), Aleksejs Saramotins (Cofidis) and Grischa Janorschke (Team NetApp).

The pace in the peloton dropped off after covering the first two hours at a rapid 48km/h clip and as a result the 12 escapees gained a lead of four minutes in no time. Sky and BMC worked in the peloton to keep the gap under five minutes as they didn’t have a man in the lead group.

The break's advantage over the peloton remained the same until the riders hit pavé section 21, Aulny-lez-Valenciennes – Famars. In front Saramotins flatted but near the front of the peloton there was a crash. Many riders were held up by those who hit the deck and blocked the road. The biggest casualties were Dutchmen Tom Stamsnijder and Tom Leezer. French veteran Fréderic Guesdon (FDJ-Big Mat) and young prospect Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Nissan) were also hindered by the crash and they failed to come back to the peloton.

Arenberg forest looms large

The Sky team led the peloton at high speed towards the Arenberg forest with its notorious, grueling pavé sector. The passage started dramatically as in front Janorschke crashed hard, taking Popovych and Van Keirsbulck down with him. In the peloton top favorite Tom Boonen set the pace, soon to be helped by teammate and French champion Sylvain Chavanel.

At the back of the peloton outsiders like Grégory Rast (RadioShack-Nissan) and George Hincapie (BMC) suffered flats. Once out of the forest eight riders remained in the lead with less than two minutes on the peloton. The eight surviving riders from the early break included Boucher, Veuchelen, Lindemann, Morkov, Veilleux, Klemme, Mangel and Saramotins.

After the Arenberg forest several attacks were launched from the peloton and suddenly Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) was up the road together with Alessandro Ballan (BMC), Jimmy Casper (AG2R-La Mondiale), Mathieu Ladagnous (FDJ-Big Mat), Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) and Maarten Wynants (Rabobank). The six collected half a minute on the peloton but on pavé section 14 Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) took a strong pull to lead the peloton back to the six in the chase group. With such aggressive racing from the peloton the breakaway group didn’t stand a chance and at the feed zone, with 68km to go, there was a complete regrouping in front.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep goes long

During this tactical moment in the race Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) profited to sneak away with fellow French riders Mangel, Ladagnous, Turgot plus Switzerland's Michael Schär (BMC) ahead of pavé section 12 in Orchies. Turgot blasted away on the cobbles from the lead group when Chavanel flatted. Meanwhile, in the peloton Boonen accelerated and only Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) was able to keep up. The duo caught up with Turgot at the end of pavé section 12. Soon afterwards Terpstra and Ballan bridged up as well, creating a five-man leader’s group.

Once back on asphalted roads there was no cooperation in this group and then the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team staged a coup as Boonen went up the road together with his lieutenant Terpstra. The situation initially looked awkward, though, as Terpstra was unable to keep up with his team leader on the 5-star pavé section 11 of Auchy-les-Orchies – Bersée. With approximately 52km to go Boonen was up the road on his own.

Boonen was out on his own for 52km before claiming his fourth paris-roubaix victory:

Behind him in the chase group co-favorite Pozzato misjudged a corner on the cobbles. The Italian star crashed into Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM) and both riders lost valuable time while Boonen collected half a minute on the first chase group.

Can Boonen do it?

The gap remained at nearly half a minute when reaching pavé section 10. Boonen made it through the unforgiving 3km-long stretch at Mons-en-Pévèle while the peloton split apart behind him. The Sky team had the numbers in this seven-man group, featuring Flecha, Boasson Hagen andHayman. The other riders in the group were Ballan, Ladagnous, Boom and Terpstra. They were caught by seven more riders with 40km to go while Boonen's lead had grown slightly to 40 seconds. The seven riders who bridged up were Ian Stannard (Sky), Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda), Luca Paolini (Katusha), Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana), Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank), Wynants and Turgot. Stannard did all he could to bring the gap down but instead Boonen hit pavé section 7 with a gap of 50 seconds on the chase group of 14 riders.

The Belgian struggled to get the gap over one minute but he eventually got it on the cobbles of Cysoing à Bourghelles (pavé section 6), with 27 km to go. At the same section there were a couple of accelerations in the chase group featuring Flecha, Boom, Ballan and Vansummeren but these were all neutralized by Terpstra.

Boom switched bikes on the asphalted roads towards the last important pavé sections of Camphin-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre where Boonen's lead had grown to 1:20 on the chase group. Boom bounced back from his mechanical and steamed passed the group to launch a solo counter-attack. Flecha, Ballan and Ladagnous followed the Dutchman a little further back. For the first time the gap dropped but once Boonen finished the cobbles of the Carrefour de l’Arbre he still had 1:10 on Boom.

The Flecha, Ballan and Ladagnous group regained contact with Boom to form a four-rider chase, but they now seemed resigned to racing for second. The group lost horsepower at 13km remaining as Ladagnous flatted, while in front Boonen looked as smooth as ever across the pave as the distance to the Roubaix velodrome grew ever shorter.

Boonen kept his three chasers at bay and with 4km to go his lead stood at 1:32. The Belgian powerhouse soon cracked a smile for the cameras inside of 3km to go and he soon had the velodrome in Roubaix all to himself as he soaked up the adulation from the crowd and savoured every second of his triumphant 1.5 laps of the track for his fourth Paris-Roubaix victory.

Boonen lifts the famous paris-roubaix trophy for a fourth time:

Full results

1Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep5:55:22 
2Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:39 
3Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
4Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling  
5Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
6Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:43 
7Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo Bank0:03:31 
8Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
9Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda  
10Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team  
11Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team  
12Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
13Grégory Rast (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan0:04:23 
14Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team  
15Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:04:37 
16Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
17Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
18Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
19Jimmy Casper (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
20Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
21Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
22Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Movistar Team  
23Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
24Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
25Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:58 
26Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan  
27Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
28Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:06:22 
29Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Barracuda  
30Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
31Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:06:25 
32Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda  
33Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:06:27 
34Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:07:46 
35Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
36Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
37Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
38Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar  
39Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
40Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team  
41Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat  
42Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
43George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team  
44Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:07:48 
45Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:50 
46Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
47David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar0:09:09 
48Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team0:09:11 
49Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:09:37 
50Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team  
51Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
52Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
53Stuart O'Grady (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
54Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat  
55Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
56Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling0:11:07 
57Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team  
58Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
59Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
60Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
61Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha Team  
62Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team  
63John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos - Shimano  
64Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD0:13:05 
65Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
66Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan  
67Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
68Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
69Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
70Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp  
71Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp  
72Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank  
73Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
74Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
75Jens Mouris (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
76Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team  
77André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team  
78Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
79Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
80Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
81Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
82Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
83Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos - Shimano  
84Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda  
85Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:17:17 
86Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling  
HDReto Hollenstein (Swi) Team NetApp  
HDMarkus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp  
HDRuben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
HDChristophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
HDRonan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Argos - Shimano  
HDRamon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos - Shimano  
HDRoger Kluge (Ger) Argos - Shimano  
HDDominic Klemme (Ger) Argos - Shimano  
HDKristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
HDGregor Gazvoda (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale  
HDRafai Chtioui (Tun) Team Europcar  
HDJuraj Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale  
HDYuriy Krivtsov (Fra) Lampre - ISD  
HDDmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) Lampre - ISD  
HDLuke Roberts (Aus) Team Saxo Bank  
HDJaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Team Saxo Bank  
HDDavid Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
HDFrédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
HDMartin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
HDKris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
HDMarco Haller (Aut) Katusha Team  
HDJens Keukeleire (Bel) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
HDMarkel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan  
HDChristopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
HDRoberto De Patre (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
HDDennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
HDJack Bauer (NZl) Garmin - Barracuda  
DNFTimon Seubert (Ger) Team NetApp  
DNFMichael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team NetApp  
DNFAndré Schulze (Ger) Team NetApp  
DNFGrischa Janorschke (Ger) Team NetApp  
DNFLaurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFMathieu Halleguen (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFSébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFJean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFGuillaume Blot (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFNico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFEgoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFEdwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFPablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFAdrian Saez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFAlan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFPierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFRicardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFYannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
DNFStéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
DNFRony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
DNFJérémie Galland (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
DNFPablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFRuben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFFrancisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFValentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFDmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFAssan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFDmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Argos - Shimano  
DNFTom Veelers (Ned) Argos - Shimano  
DNFRomain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFSteve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMartin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFAlexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFYohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFAlan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFKristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFEdward King (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFMauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFFederico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFOleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) Lampre - ISD  
DNFMassimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
DNFVitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISD  
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
DNFJonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
DNFPim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFAliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team  
DNFVladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team  
DNFFrederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
DNFMarcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team  
DNFMaarten Neyens (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
DNFGreg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team  
DNFJens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
DNFSander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
DNFMatthew Wilson (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
DNFTomas Vaitkus (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
DNFSvein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
DNFBrett Lancaster (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
DNFBaden Cooke (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
DNFYaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan  
DNFGiacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan  
DNFTony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan  
DNFDaniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan  
DNFJeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling  
DNFLeonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
DNFOscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
DNFThomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
DNFCristiano Benenati (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
DNFLuca Ascani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
DNFDanilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFCoen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
DNFMatteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
DNFSébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda  
DNFJacob Rathe (USA) Garmin - Barracuda  
DNFAndreas Klier (Ger) Garmin - Barracuda
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