Boonen triumphs at Paris-Roubaix

Belgian equals De Vlaeminck's record of four victories

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

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

Full results

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 5:55:22  
2 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar 0:01:39  
3 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
4 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling    
5 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
6 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:43  
7 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo Bank 0:03:31  
8 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
9 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin – Barracuda    
10 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team    
11 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team    
12 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
13 Grégory Rast (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 0:04:23  
14 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team    
15 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:04:37  
16 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
17 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia    
18 Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
19 Jimmy Casper (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
20 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
21 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur – Sojasun    
22 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Movistar Team    
23 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
24 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
25 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar 0:04:58  
26 Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan    
27 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
28 Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:06:22  
29 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Barracuda    
30 Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur – Sojasun    
31 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:06:25  
32 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin – Barracuda    
33 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:06:27  
34 Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:07:46  
35 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
36 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team    
37 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
38 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar    
39 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
40 Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team    
41 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat    
42 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
43 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team    
44 Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller 0:07:48  
45 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:07:50  
46 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
47 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar 0:09:09  
48 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:09:11  
49 Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:09:37  
50 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team    
51 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling    
52 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
53 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
54 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat    
55 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
56 Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling 0:11:07  
57 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team    
58 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
59 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
60 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
61 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha Team    
62 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team    
63 John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos – Shimano    
64 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre – ISD 0:13:05  
65 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
66 Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan    
67 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
68 Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller    
69 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
70 Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp    
71 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp    
72 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank    
73 Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
74 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
75 Jens Mouris (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
76 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team    
77 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team    
78 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
79 Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi    
80 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar    
81 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur – Sojasun    
82 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
83 Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos – Shimano    
84 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin – Barracuda    
85 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:17:17  
86 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling    
HD Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Team NetApp    
HD Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp    
HD Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi    
HD Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur – Sojasun    
HD Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Argos – Shimano    
HD Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos – Shimano    
HD Roger Kluge (Ger) Argos – Shimano    
HD Dominic Klemme (Ger) Argos – Shimano    
HD Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
HD Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale    
HD Rafai Chtioui (Tun) Team Europcar    
HD Juraj Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale    
HD Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) Lampre – ISD    
HD Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) Lampre – ISD    
HD Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Saxo Bank    
HD Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Team Saxo Bank    
HD David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
HD Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
HD Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
HD Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
HD Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha Team    
HD Jens Keukeleire (Bel) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
HD Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan    
HD Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling    
HD Roberto De Patre (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia    
HD Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
HD Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin – Barracuda    
DNF Timon Seubert (Ger) Team NetApp    
DNF Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team NetApp    
DNF André Schulze (Ger) Team NetApp    
DNF Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team NetApp    
DNF Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller    
DNF Mathieu Halleguen (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller    
DNF Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller    
DNF Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller    
DNF Guillaume Blot (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller    
DNF Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller    
DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi    
DNF Adrian Saez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi    
DNF Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi    
DNF Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel – Euskadi    
DNF Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi    
DNF Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur – Sojasun    
DNF Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur – Sojasun    
DNF Rony Martias (Fra) Saur – Sojasun    
DNF Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur – Sojasun    
DNF Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Argos – Shimano    
DNF Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos – Shimano    
DNF Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Edward King (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) Lampre – ISD    
DNF Massimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre – ISD    
DNF Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre – ISD    
DNF Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre – ISD    
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre – ISD    
DNF Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
DNF William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
DNF Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team    
DNF Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team    
DNF Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Maarten Neyens (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Sander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Matthew Wilson (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
DNF Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
DNF Svein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
DNF Brett Lancaster (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
DNF Baden Cooke (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
DNF Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan    
DNF Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan    
DNF Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan    
DNF Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan    
DNF Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia    
DNF Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia    
DNF Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia    
DNF Cristiano Benenati (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia    
DNF Luca Ascani (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia    
DNF Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia    
DNF Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
DNF Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
DNF Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
DNF Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin – Barracuda    
DNF Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin – Barracuda    
DNF Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin – Barracuda