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106th Paris - Roubaix - Live Coverage Part 2 & Photos
 
By Staff
Date: 4/13/2008
106th Paris - Roubaix - Live Coverage Part 2 & Photos
 

Paris -  Roubaix - Live Coverage Part 2
 


The bunch on the cobblestone section of Beuvry à Orchies. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

1545 CEST - The pace which gets a bit higher now, is making it more and more difficult for Hincapie to get back. Van Sumeren, Bonnen, Devolder, Ballan, Cancellara, O'Grady are making the cut...and Maaskant Belgium’s Johan Van Summeren (Silence Lotto) is alone in the lead in cobbled section 11. Van Summeren has been caught; yet another dutch youngster doing well this spring. Hincapie is losing time, now 38 seconds down. Of greater concern for High Road, they have nobody in this octet.

And it seems Hincapie has once again suffered a mechanical at the crucial juncture of Paris-Roubaix. O'grady, Cancellara and Boonen, the three winners of the three last editions are here. A Quick Step - Lotto - CSC looks to be on the cards. At the end of section 11, Van Summeren was caught by a handful of favourites, including Stijn Devolder, Fabian Cancellara, Leif Hoste, Stuart O’Grady, Tom Boonen, Alessandro Ballan and Maertin Maaskant. Is it the right break? They have a decent gap. This is some group.

Masskant "Slipstreaming" along with the big boys. In Roubaix at the time they are cleaning up the track after the juniors finish, to make way for the big guns.


Cancellara and Ballan together behind Murillo Fischer.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

Here comes Mons en Pevele, a bad 5 star rated sector. Devolder rockets to the front, he's got form and morale to burn after last weekend. The chase group being led by Rabobank and High Road. Look at Devolder go! As if flicking a switch, the Belgian champion injects more pace and seems to glide over the cobbles. He's got a gap on the pack Lotto leads the chase in the favorite group, while CSC are holding off at the moment.

1559 CEST - 44 km to go, Devolder still continues, though he will be caught soon enough. Ballan Attacks. The crowd here is four and five deep in many places - No its O'Grady! O'Grady gets a gap. Boonen chooses to mark Cancellara. And O'Grady closes the gap to Devolder easily. We have a pretty strange situation - last year's Paris-Roubaix winner and this year's Tour of Flanders winner are in front, acting as teammates. Now Lotto and Ballan will have their work cut out for them. Van Summeren looks to be hurting, but he has to dig deep for Hoste. Boonen and Cancellara will take a ride in the armchair.

Sector 9 700m De Mérignies à Pont-à-Marcq - A good move by CSC it has to be said; it ends their reason for chasing, forcing the hand of two other teams 18 seconds is the gap. Ballan doesn't look too bothered, neither does Maaskant. Why should they burn their matches, after all?

Hoste attacks. Cancellara on his wheel, Boonen on his. But he isn't getting a gap, though he is tearing up Sector 9.A minute behind, High Road continue to lead the chase. Tour of Flanders winner Devolder and Paris-Roubaix holder O’Grady are 40 kms from the finish on the Roubaix velodrome.


The big guns in the middle of the pack. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

16.01 CEST - Section 8 now Pont Thibaut. Hopefully we won't see two Monuments where the "favourites" mark themselves out of contention with cagey, predictable riding. Boonen on the wheel of Cancellara, Hoste attacks again. Someone waves a Flandrian flag, Hoste gives it a disgusted "Get that thing away from me" look. A few years ago (2004?), he rode over a flag, which then got caught in his back wheel, causing him to skid to a halt.

Ballan is looking to be in trouble also... can't quite hold the wheels of the riders in front. Hoste is riding strongly... I think he will bring them back. Meanwhile, Rabobank are probably wondering "why did we sell Maaskant?" The Dutchman still looks good. The peloton is almost 1'30" down with Hincapie et al.

Devolder and O'Grady are caught. Devolder goes again. Great work by Hoste, but now he's isolated; but the riders have learned from Flanders, and are not letting him go. Leif Hoste leads the chase and bridges the gap with the two leaders. Seven riders in the lead. Belgium’s Johan Van Summeren is dropped by the leading group. Quick-Step and CSC with all the cards right now, but we haven't seen the last attack today.


The peloton "eats dust" of the lead riders as they chase. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

1'36'' back to the peloton, so this is the group (if anyone doubted it). The favorites are taking a little rest before the fireworks start again on the next pave. Puncture for Ballan and and the Mavic Motorbike is alongside him now.

Boonen attacks and Cancellara counters O'Grady and Devolder hanging and then Devolder and O'Grady shot out the back momentarily.  Ballan back on Boonen's wheel - Hoste is in the middle.

Juniors, results:
1. Andrew Fenn, 122km in 3:12'33.
2. Peter Sagan
3. Etienne Fedrigo
4. Emil Houmand
5. Michael Humbert
top 30 at the bottom of the page.

The big favorites are gone... Ballan, Cancellara and Boonen, while Hoste, Marskant, O'Grady and Devolder are dropped. Boonen and Cancellara did the damage, and that is probably the race slipping through his fingers for Hoste. O'Grady tries to bridge across from behind, but can't get away. 15 seconds now. looks like Hoste is not getting support Hoste looks at his mates, and realizes all is up. Maaskant comes up to help him.

1624 CEST - 35 km to go, The three leading favourites at the start are now in the lead: Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara and Allesandro Ballan. With 35 kms to go, the podium might be decided! What a triumvirate - Boonen, Ballan and Cancellara, all kings of the cobbled classics in previous years. And 2'30" back to the peloton. Boonen, Cancellara and Ballan are 30 kms from the finish.

27 km to go, Sector 6, Cysoing. Four stars, ouch. The 3 continue to work well together he attacks will come on Sector 5, it seems. O'Grady and Devolder drop Hoste and Maaskant. Hincapie continues to fight... The Carrefour de l'Arbre is Sector 5, its jagged tooth-like cobbles striking fear into any cyclist.
Hoste fights his way back up toward Devolder, while Maaskant is struggling. The big three now lead the first chasers - Hoste, O’Grady and Devolder - by 40 seconds.

And O'grady attacks again.... he is powerful today. I suppose he will be worried about the peloton catching them? The Super Trio have a minutes gap now. Devolder leaves O'Grady behind can he catch up the with the leaders? He's a beast.Observe O'Grady's technique on those cobbled turns; he almost catches up with Devolder solely using them.

1625 CEST - 22km - 1'08" is the gap, it's still growing. The leading threesome of stars are working well together - for now. Devolder goes again. O'Grady has a lot of fight left though, and is trying to get back. It must be frustrating for two such good riders to have to be forced to hold back because their captains are up front, and they're giving it everything they've got now. Spartacus (Cancellara's nick) is riding smoothly.

Hoste, O'Grady, and Devolder 40 seconds. The first chasing group is now 1:10 behind the three leaders. The podium is almost certain - but in what order?

1632 CEST: 19km to go - Three kilometres till the Carrefour de l'Arbre, it could break this race. The nerves are showing in the riding of our three front-runners... they all know what is coming up.
Ballan powers along... is he testing his companions?

16km to go. Carrefour de l'Arbre... Cancellara takes off! Ballan tries to close the gap, Boonen takes over. And the gap is closed, dangerman Cancellara is reined in this time.

Huge crowds are on the side of the road - many with Flemish flags, all to support "Tommeke" Boonen. Cancellara doesn't look comfortable on Boonen's wheel. Boonen, Cancellara and Ballan on the Carrefour... and the favourites come off the five-star section still together. What now for Ballan and Cancellara, what now? They can't tow Boonen to the finish... Boonen sets the pace a bit higher, testing his opponents. Ballan is in difficulty.

Cancellara attacks, but Boonen reacts. Ballan is still hanging in there. not slow at the finish line either when it may come to a sprint... up to Ballan still hanging in, he's is the joker, certainly. How much does Ballan have left? How much do all three have left? Cancellara has the power to challenge a more jaded Boonen in the sprint - he's no slow coach.

With 12 kms to go, Cancellara tries again! Boonen also attacks! The psychological warfare is raging. Ballan is the only one not too make extra efforts.My money is on Boonen - he isn't going to lose it from here, he's shown that he's equal to Cancellara. Now for the coup de grace. I think Ballan has to attack, he won't win otherwise

1544 CEST - Just 9 kilometres to go to the finish of this Monument. If Boonen does not wins, there will, be huge pressure on him in belgium, huge pressure for the tour and so on. he simply has to win, according to impatient Belgium. Alessandro Ballan leads Cancellara and Boonen, the three best Classics riders of this generation arguably. Well, he certainly has all the cards right now.Boonen looks so determined

Ballan the only one of this trio who has not won this classic yet. He came close several times, but if he wins this will be his first But Ballan will have to attack...

1645 CEST - 8 kilometres left, and this is the penultimate section. It's one star, it's Hem. Ballan leads them over it; will the attacks rain afterwards? They have 2'38" to the closest pursuers by the way, impressive riding. The pace is devastating.

6 kilometres to go, suddenly they all look very weary. Who can win... Cancellara wants Sunderland at his side once more to check all uncertainties? to rule them out? It looks like Boonen to me; Ballan is either very wily or very tired, and Cancellara looks tired.Boonen still has to be very attentive, it's his to lose.

5 km to go, Boonen knows he can't give Cancellara two meters; or one metre for that matter. It has not been a Classic muddy, rainy, hellish edition of Paris-Roubaix as anticipated, but we still have an amazing finish with three stars. They have made this race. With good help from their teams.

Next cobble section three stars, with a five-star rating like the most difficult cobbles the have conquered today 4km to go. Ballan has a quick look at his rivals' faces, they're giving nothing away though. boonens last win was in the tour of California, in February

less than 4 km to go, Cancellara has already won a Monument - Milano-San Remo. How he'd love another cobblestone trophy though. they are close to the track Hopefully not a repeat of 2005 Psychologically, it can't help knowing that green jersey winner Boonen is with them when Boonen won.

Cancellara stretches, the pace is still high though. Just over 2,500 metres to go. If he wins, Cancellara would be only the third rider to win Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix the same year after Sean Kelly (1986) and Cyrille Van Hauwaert in 1908. If Boonen wins, he shuts up the persistent, nagging critics and lifts the pressure of a nation off his shoulders.


Ballan, Cancellara and Boonen - final lap on the track. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

2km to go, And Ballan? Always a quiet favourite, he is just as good as his two rivals. Perhaps not at sprinting though... Belgian commentators mention: Boonen HAS to win, he has no choice but win on the track I wouldn't have counted on a sprint if I were Ballan, but he must have been worn out.  The tension is unbearable.  That must be on his mind right now, I guess...  who will win this 106th edition?

Ballan leads onto the track... last lap

Tom Boonen Wins!!!!!!!!!!


Boonen out distances Cancellara and Ballan for the 2008 victory.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

Easily... neither Ballan nor Cancellara had anything to fire with. What a win! The mark of a true champion, he distanced them easily within 150 metres. Close for second place. Boonen took off round the outside, and he had no real competition for the win in the end


Rivals Boonen and Cancellara share a hug as Ballan follows after the sprint while Quick Step's D.S. Wilfried Peeters and soigneur Dirk Nachtergaele are celebrating. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

Cancellara is credited with second, Ballan takes third. How quickly that sprinting grimace turned into a smile as he celebrated. All this fuss right now makes it more quiet for him, he will have some peace around him now. He looked mightily relieved as he crossed the line

Who's next in the velodrome? Cameras have been focused on the leaders for the last 20km. Devolder, O'Grady and Hoste, seemingly. Maaskant looks to have given the other the slip...

1 Boonen, 2 Cancellara, 3 Ballan. Boonen looks dazed but happy. Looks like Maaskant sure did great in this Paris-Roubaix. Under the flamme rouge for Maaskant, what a ride! If a Slipstream rider places 4th, that certainly will be a good day's work for the American squad. The bell rings for Maaskant. For whom the bell tolls... and a Dutchie has to finish it off for the American squad; and only a 24-year old Dutchy at that!  Excellent result for Slipstream... 4th. And we have our surprise Top-5


Stuart O'Grady gets the leap on Leif Hoste to claim 5th. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

O'Grady 5th, Hoste 6th, Devolder 7th Vansummeren 8th.

Scott Sunderlands talks to Danish TV, explaining Cancellara had cramp for the final kilometres. "He did his best" the Aussie says. That's why he couldn't sprint. Saw him shaking his legs... near the end.

Vlaanderen-Roubaix double for Quick Step, their tactics have been spot on.4 Belgian riders in the top 8. High Road leads the group behind. Flecha sprints for 9th. They covered the 260km in under 6 hours, impressive time. Hincapie 9th. This has been an awful day for THR, they would have wanted a better result than 9th


Stijn Devolder Belgian Champion finishes in 7th. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

2008 Paris - Roubaix Results (top 17 provisional)
1. BOONEN Tom 51 QUICK STEP 5h 58' 42"
2. CANCELLARA Fabian 5 TEAM CSC 5h 58' 42"
3. BALLAN Alessandro 71 LAMPRE 5h 58' 42"

4. MAASKANT Martijn 247 SLIPSTREAM CHIPOTLE 6h 02' 21" + 03' 39"
5. O’GRADY Stuart 1 TEAM CSC 6h 02' 39" + 03' 57"
6. HOSTE Leif 31 SILENCE - LOTTO 6h 02' 39" + 03' 57"
7. DEVOLDER Stijn 54 QUICK STEP 6h 02' 41" + 03' 59"
8. VAN SUMMEREN Johan 37 SILENCE - LOTTO
9. HINCAPIE George 61 HIGH ROAD 6h 03' 54" + 05' 12"


Bernhard Eisel leads out George Hincapie for 9th place. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

10. BALDATO Fabio 72 LAMPRE 6h 03' 54" + 05' 12"
11. GUESDON Frédéric 121 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 6h 03' 54" + 05' 12"
12. FLECHA Juan Antonio 11 RABOBANK 6h 03' 54" + 05' 12"
13. QUINZIATO Manuel 47 LIQUIGAS 6h 03' 54" + 05' 12"
14. DE VOCHT Wim 32 SILENCE - LOTTO 6h 03' 54" + 05' 12"
15. SCHEIRLINCKX Staf 107 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 6h 0
16. LJUNGQVIST Marcus 8 TEAM CSC 6h 03' 54" + 05' 12"
17. EISEL Bernhard 62 HIGH ROAD 6h 04' 02" + 05' 20"

Did Baldato nick a top 10 in his last Roubaix? Mengin was up there too. Indeed, on paper, the strongest team was High Road. Eisel crashed though, Hincapie was held up... some bad luck.

"I went better than expected. I'm happy with how things have gone... We've got nothing to complain about, we've ridden the race we planned and Boonen was the strongest on the day," comments Stuart O'Grady (5th).

Not sure I agree about HR being the strongest team... Knaven doesn't count (it's years since he's shown anything), and none of the other riders are notably better than the support riders on other teams.

Boonen comments on the pressure put on him via Belgian papers: they say I am like soo long without a real win.... sure looks like this was high in his system, it sorta came out before him saying he was happy with this win.

I'm going through the archives crazily, and this is the fastest Paris-Roubaix for 20 years. Maybe more...

That's quite a top ten - kudos to surprise package Maaskant and super workhorse Van Summeren in particular. Did I say workhorse, I meant work giraffe. That guy is so tall! I like some of the other riders in the Top-20... Ljunqvuist, Quinziato, Guesdon... good to see. Quinziato for one surprises me, 13th; but not so much after De Panne. An excellent race that we have witnessed; just a pity that neither Ballan nor Cancellara had anything left in the tank to give us proper fireworks on the last 5kms.

Thanks for joining us for our live coverage. Thanks to Andy McGrath and Nick Bull in London, Anita Van Crey in Belgium and Michael Akinde in Denmark for the commentary.

Discuss this race and the sport with other cycling fans from around the world on the Daily Peloton.com Forums and Chat Room.  Sponsor the daily peloton & advertise your product or service to cyclists and cycling fans on www.dailypeloton.com - contact us.

28 Pave Sections - 57 total kms
Cobblestone Sectors
13 194,5 1400m De Beuvry-la-forêt à Orchies
12 199,5 1700m Orchies
11 205,5 1200m De Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée
10 211,0 3000m Mons-en-Pévèle
09 217,0 0700m De Mér
09 217,0 0700m De Mérignies à Pont-à-Marcq
08 220,0 1400m De Pont-Thibaut à Ennevelin
07 225,5 0200m Templeuve - L’Épinette
07 226,0 0500m Templeuve - Moulin-de-Vertain
06 232,5 1300m De Cysoing à Bourghelles
06 235,0 1100m De Bourghelles à Wannehain
05 239,5 1800m Camphin-en-Pévèle
04 242,5 2100m Carrefour de l’Arbre
03 244,5 1100m Gruson
02 251,5 1400m Hem
01 258,0 0300m Espace Crupela

Juniors, results:
1. Andrew Fenn, 122km in 3:12'33.
2. Peter Sagan
3. Etienne Fedrigo
4. Emil Houmand
5. Michael Humbert
6. Barry Markus
7. Kenneth Vanbilsen
8. Ramon Domene
9. Romain Bacon
10. Nicolas Vereecken
11. Boris Zimne
12. Pablo Lechuga
13. Erick Rowsell
14. Damien Le Fustec
15. Toby Meadows
16. Sebastian Lander
17. Nejc Kosir
18. Claudio Mhof
19. George Atkins
20. Matvey Zubov
21. Alphonse Vermote
22. Luke Rowe
23. Sjoerd Kouwenhoven
24. Arnaud Demare
25. Gennadiy Tatarnov
26. Benjamin Sydlik
27. Bastian Burgel
28. Gil Jacot Descombes
29. Kokljaer Kristensen
30. Victor Fobert

 
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106th Paris - Roubaix - Live Coverage Part 1 & Photos

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