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107th Paris-Roubaix - Live coverage Part 1
 
By Andy McGrath
Date: 4/12/2009
107th Paris-Roubaix - Live coverage Part 1
 

107th Paris-Roubaix - Live coverage
Eleven riders off the front with 3 mintue, but the action has only started in the Queen of the classics..

Paris (Compiègne) - Roubaix  259 km
Welcome to our live coverage of l'Enfer du Nord, the toughest of the tough: Paris-Roubaix. With 130 kilometres till the renowned velodrome finishin Roubaix, a chunky breakaway group is currently 3'48" ahead of the peloton. However, with the Arenberg Forest, Orchies, Mons-en-Pevele and the Carrefour de l'Arbre among the best-known and most-feared of the 27 pavé sections to come, the situation is likely to change. We have 19 of the 27 pave sections to come, (all are listed at the bottom).

So, the men in front are: former winner Servais Knaven (Team Milram), Andreas Klier (Cervélo Test Team), Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), Maarten Wynants (Quick Step), Angelo Furlan (Lampre-N.G.C.), Yoann Offredo (Francaise des Jeux), Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank) and Steve Chainel (Bbox-Bouygues Telecom). There are also 3 Anglophones in the escape: Greg Henderson (Columbia-High Road), Wesley Sulzberger (Francaise des Jeux) and Steven Cozza (Garmin). Quite a classy group of 11 there, a blend of sallow youth and experience.

Two men you won't want to give too much leeway to. Servais Knaven - he was first across the line in Roubaix velodrome in 2001. Andreas Klier - he won Gent-Wevelgem in 2003.
Andy says:
1415 CEST - 122 kilometres left. Without a man in the break, Silence are driving the peloton. They need a podium finish at least to rectify their dire Spring campaign.

Yoann Offredo is yo-yoing in the lead group, but looks to have fought his way back on. They are going over the 3-star section at Verchain, number 21 with 1.6 km of bone jarring cobbles.

Coming up in the next 20 kilometers we have:

Section 20 - *** - Quérénaing a Maing, 2.5km
19 - *** - Maing a Monchaux-sur-Écaillon, 1.6km
18 - **** - Haveluy à Wallers, 2.5km
17 - ***** - Trouée d'Arenberg, 2.4km
16 - *** - Hornaing, 3.7km
15 - *** - Warlaing, 2.4km
14 - *** - Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes, 2.4km

Remember folks, there are three sections of 5-star cobbles: the Trouée d'Arenberg (163.5km), its muddy cobbles set in the earth like jagged teeth, Mons-en-Pevele (210.5km) and the Carrefour de l'Arbre (242km). The straight section through Arenberg is coming in 15 kilometres or so, and signifies the beginning of the process of attrition for the favourites. In the modern era, you can't win the race there - but you can certainly lose it with just a moment of ill concentration.

1430 CEST - The peloton are still about 4 minutes down, led by cyclo-cross-cum-roadman Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas). Alexandre Moos is just behind him, riding for BMC Racing Team; the US-Swiss team were a surprise wildcard pick, and will be doing their utmost to perform respectably today.

The day's big favourites today are Tom Boonen, Heinrich Haussler and George Hincapie - and all have team-mates in the breakaway today to relieve some stress.

110 kilometres to go - The deficit is down to 3'25", as a Liquigas rider really pounds the pavé of Maing (sector 19). Henderson rides through the shot in the lead-group: he looks both comfortable and like a Lego man in that kit.

Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) attacks from the bunch, and he's quickly pegged by a few riders, including Quick Step rider Weylandt. Now a Silence-man gives it a go, looks a bit like Johan van Summeren... the attack and response has strung out the peloton as riders try to respond. Seems a few were caught napping by the Skil riders escape.

An Agritubel and Skil man chase. These are the last desperate skirmishes to get off the front before all Hell breaks loose on the Arenberg Trench. The break will meet it 3 minutes before the bunch, in about 10 kilometres time. This section defines the race. 2400m of cobbles on a sunken, tree-covered, dead-straight road that used to lead to the mines. The cobbles are jagged, uneven, muddy: a rider's nightmare. The contenders come into the trench at 60km/h. They know that if they aren't in the top 20 riders, they can forget about victory.

Filippo Pozzato is also a favourite today, hence Liquigas's chase. He was undone by Quick Step's strength in numbers last weekend in Flanders. The question on some people's lips remains whether the stereotyped pretty boy can handle the relentless pounding of the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix? It's a different animal to the Tour of Flanders, after all.

102 kilometres to go - Trusted Boonen domestique Wynants sits on the back of the break as they go over Haveluy, the 18th section, and a four-star one to boot. This is the penultimate one before the Arenberg Trench.

Behind, the bunch begin this section. Saxo Bank have ramped the pace up for Fabian Cancellara, believed to be out-of-sorts after some bad luck in preparation for the Spring Classics.  Yoann Offredo is about to be swept up by the bunch; he was dumped by the breakaway group a few minutes ago.

1450 CEST - Crash! 100 kilometres to go. Riders take to cyclo-cross to get around. It's blocked the road. Involved were the likes of Markus Fothen (Team Milram), Tom Leezer (Rabobank) and Hans Dekkers (Garmin-Slipstream): all are slow to get going. As the bodies clear, Sebastien Hinault (AG2R-La Mondiale) seems worst off, head in hands at side of the road.

 Martijn Maaskant was involved in the crash too! He was a revelation last year, on the way to fourth overall for Garmin.Chasing back on, but this is atrocious timing for the Dutchman, just as the bunch wind it up before hitting the Arenberg Forest.

2'40" is the gap between the leaders and the break, which is about to hit the Arenberg section and the business end of the race. Those men in front again: Knaven, Klier, Posthuma, Wynants, Chainel, Furlan, Klostegaard, Henderson, Sulzberger and Cozza (10 riders). Boonen is perfectly placed in second wheel as a team-mate keeps the pace high. He will want to get through Arenberg unscathed. The Trouée d'Arenberg begins!

95 kilometres to go - Henderson is already distanced. This section is chock full of fans cheering on their heroes on this hellish section. Now the peloton hit it, doing 60km/h... Tom Boonen is on the front, putting down the power.

Huge crash! Only the first 30 riders or so made it through. Riders and fans are scattered. Lancaster (Cervelo) was involved. At the front, a group of 20 or so appears to be detaching itself slightly. It's over for the break. Sulzberger is just off the back, but they're all through together, even Henderson.

Wynants, Klier and Klostegaard have a lead on the rest of the breakaway. Now Haussler comes to the front and attacks through Arenberg. Puncture for a Liquigas - is it Pozzato? The Arrenberg section has once again become a major factor in the race living up to its reputation.

90 kilometres - Haussler is first through the post-Arenberg feed. 20-odd contenders are with him, including Boonen, Flecha, Hincapie, Langeveld, Hammond, Cancellara, Pozzato and Breschel. Cervelo have a few men in there, as do Quick Step. But no Chavanel?

1505 CEST - 90 kilometres to go - Still 10 men in front, it's all back together. But their lead is in tatters, down to 1'30" after the pack's assault on the Arenberg Forest.

Behind is a chasing group of 25 or so - Saxo Bank, Rabobank, Quick Step and Cervelo are all well represented, for the likes of leaders Cancellara, Flecha, Boonen and Haussler respectively. Leif Hoste (Silence) is also spotted in there.

Our live Coverage Continues in Part 2

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Paris (Compiègne) - Roubaix  259 km
Paris - Roubaix Map
Time Schedule  Start 11:00 AM
Official Race Store

Cobble Section
# -
Kilometer marker - name - length

27 98 Troisvilles à Inchy 2.2
26 104.5 km  - Viesly à Quiévy 1.8 km
25 107 km - Quiévy à Saint-Python 3.7 km
24 112 km - Saint-Python 1.5 km
23 119.5 km - Vertain à Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon 2.3 km
22 126.5 km - Capelle-sur-Écaillon - Le-Buat 1.7 km
21 138.5 km - Verchain-Maugré à Quérénaing 1.6 km
20 141.5 km - Quérénaing à Maing 2.5 km
19 144.5 km - Maing à Monchaux-sur-Écaillon 1.6 km
18 156 km - Haveluy à Wallers 2.5 km
17 164 km - Trouée d’Arenberg 2.4 km
16 176.5 km - Hornaing à Wandignies-Hamage 3.7 km
15 184 km - Warlaing à Brillon 2.4 km
14 187.5 km - Tilloy à Sars-et-Rosières 2.4 km
13 194 km - Beuvry-la-forêt à Orchies 1.4 km
12 199 km - Orchies 1.7 km
11 205 km - Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée 2.6 km
10 210.5 Mons-en-Pévèle 3 km 
9 216.5 km - Mérignies à Pont-à-Marcq 0.7 km
8 219.5 km - Pont-Thibaut à Ennevelin 1.4 km
7 225.5 km - Templeuve - L’Épinette 0.2 km
7 226 km - Templeuve - Moulin-de-Vertain 0.5 km
6 232.5 km - Cysoing à Bourghelles 1.3 km
6 235 km - Bourghelles à Wannehain 1.1 km
5 239.5 km - Camphin-en-Pévèle 1.8 km
4 242 km - Carrefour de l’Arbre 2.1 km
3 244.5 km - Gruson 1.1 km
2 251 km - Willems à Hem 1.4 km
1 257.5 km - Roubaix 0.3 km
Finish 259 km
Total kilometers pave sections: 52.9 km

 
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