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108th Paris-Roubaix - Live Ticker Part 2
By Nick Bull
Date: 4/11/2010
108th Paris-Roubaix - Live Ticker Part 2

108th Paris-Roubaix - Live Ticker Part 2
The remains of the peloton close in on the escapees

515 CET - Approaching section 15 of pavé, the Warlaing - Brillon - 2.4km long, this section is in good order to begin but has some sunken sections further down the trail. Sky are trying to force the pace at the front of the peloton; however one of their riders has gone so hard others are trying to stay on his wheel.

Our leading eight still have a 32" lead on the remains of the peloton.


1520 CET -The Sky work has stopped, and the peloton has decreased its pace quite significantly.  The leading eight have been rejoined by their original companions, and have been joined by Rabobank's Maarten Tjallingii. No one team are strong represented at the front of the pack as we leave this section of cobbles.

1523 CET - Sky's Michael Barry's turn at the front of the peloton has (a) closed the gap to leaders to 18" and (b) forced a split in the peloton.

Tom Boonen, as savvy as ever, is in third wheel, making sure he stays out of trouble. Cancellara is still there, albeit a little further back.  So are Bernie Eisel (Columbia) and Hushovd (Cervelo). Barry's team mate Juan Antonio Flecha is in Barry's wheel. Further back, Garmin's David Millar looks uncomfortable on the cobbles.

 Instead of having a fluid style which the favourites all have, he looks like he is fighting the pavé of Tilloy - Sars-et-Rosières (section 14).  700m of this section was laid specifically for this race, and is the 'easiest' part of this section.

1527 CET - The leaders and the peloton are now off this section, and the catch will probably take place on tarmac before we enter of the Orchies forest pavé.

Somewhere on a previous section, crash favourite Stijn Devolder has joined up with our chase group, so will be able to help Boonen when the two escapees get caught.

1531 CET - 65km to go.  The peloton are about to reel in handful of leaders out front. Interestingly, this will mean that an additional Quick Step, Sky, Colubmia and Cervelo rider will be able to support their team leader.

1532 CET - We're now on section 13, Beuvry-la-Forêt à Orchies. - 1.4km long, the condition of the cobbles improves towards the end.

 1534 CET - Boonen and Cancellara have attacked out of the peloton in the final metres of this section. Flecha is in their wheel, and they have already caught our four leading riders. It looks like Hincapie has come across with this group too.

1535 CET - So upfront, we now have 12 riders. Another handful are trying to get across to this elite lead group.

We now have around eighteen riders upfront, but the peloton is around five seconds behind. This will come back together with 61km remaining.

Tom Boonen attacks. Hushovd on his wheel... the peloton is lined out behind.
Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1538 CET- MASSIVE ATTACK FROM TOM BOONEN With 60 km exactly to go, he has attacked with Adam Hansen (Columbia). Cancellara and Hushovd have got on his wheel, so too Flecha.

No panic behind as the Belgian Champion is reeled in. A group has now formed as a result of this big attack from Boonen. We're on section 12 - Orchies, chemin des Prières, and chemin des Abattoirs.

Cancellara and Pozzato on the Auchy-lez-Orchies - Bersée 54 km to go. Adam Hansen of HTC/Columbia in the background.  Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Boonen attacks once again on this 1.7 km section. Huge amounts of dust being sprayed around. Cancellara and Flecha are forced to work to close this down, Boonen is caught, and Cancellara and Flecha have Hushovd and Pozzato for company.

Now Roger Hammond (Cervelo) attacks. Remember his stunning ride in 2004? The Brit cannot be given a gap. And indeed, he is reeled in by the Boonen group. This is thrilling....Boonen looking so good.

1542 CET - We're back onto tarmac, but the big names upfront remain constant.

1546 CET - An attack from Sebastian Hinault and Milram's Niki Terpstra. The pack do not look too concerned about this, as a third rider - Frederic Guesdon (FDJ) - the 1997 winner - joins them. They have around fifteen seconds advantage.

after the relentless nature of the last 10 km, perhaps a calm period is overdue! Back in the pack, it would appear that Cancellara has no team mates. Perhaps that is why Boonen was attacking so hard. Boonen, Flecha and Hushovd all have support.

1550 CET - Another attack from Boonen! Roger Hammond is the first to respond. Upfront, Ag2R's Hinault is alone. His two breakaway companions have been dropped and caught by the peloton. At the back of the group, Robbie McEwen has lost contact.  Bouygues' William Bonnet needs a bike change.

1552 CET - 50 km to go. Sebastian Hinault has a small lead over the 'peloton' which contains the favourites.

 A couple of riders are trying to bridge the gap. One of them is Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma Lotto)  One of them is Bjorn Leukemans , who came 4th in the Tour of Flanders.

1556 CET - Big attack from Fabian Cancellara! Huge attack, and no-one has responded. Finally Boonen reacts.  And no-one wants to help the Quick Step rider. Cancellara has caught Hinault already, and has around ten seconds' advantage.

1557 CET - We're on the nasty Mons-en-Pévèle - 3km in length, 5 star difficulty and one of the worst sections in the race. Cancellara has caught and PASSED our leaders already. It was on this section in 2008 that Stijn Devolder attacked which helped Boonen take the victory.

Cancellara attacks! Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Today, Boonen is having to do the work and no-one is helping him. Leukemans is trying desperately to stay with Cancellara. Great ride by the Vacansoleil rider - but Fabs looks far too strong for him. Further back, Flecha is in Boonen's wheel but is not helping.  Leukemans has been dropped.

Within seconds, Cancellara pulls out a 10 meter gap.  Leukemans suggesting that Cancellara was getting a tow from a motorbike.

1601 CET - Cancellara exits the cobbles, and is on his own 45 km from the finish.

Hoste and Leukemans have been caught by the Boonen group, which includes Flecha, Hammond, Hushovd, Hinault and Pozatto. Super Fab has 25" gap over this chase group. It isn't just Tom who is doing the work behind - if they all contribute Cancellara could be caught.

1604 CET - The chase has lost some of its momentum. 30" is the gap now. This race is going away from Boonen, Flecha, Hushovd et al.

Flecha, Boonen, Hammond, Hushovd and Pozzato chase. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1605 CET - Cancellara starts on section 9: Mérignies – Pont-à-Marcq. A mere 700m long, this section is virtually all straight. The cobbles are in good condition, thus it is rated a two stars' difficulty. Now Hushovd sets the pace at the front of the chase group.

Remember, in this group we have Hushovd and Hammond (Cervelo), Boonen (Quick Step), Flecha (Sky), Hinault (Ag2R), Hoste (Omega Pharma) and Leukemans (Vacansoleil). George Hincapie and Bernhard Eisel are around twenty seconds behind this group.

1609 CET - 40km to go. Cancellara now has a gap of 48". Leif Hoste was gesticulating to his fellow chasers that they have to work together. The response? Nothing.

Katusha's Filippo Pozzato and Vacansoleil's Bjorn Leukemans chase
Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Cancellara is just time-trialing to victory, as he is on section 8 of cobbles. Pont-Thibaut - 1.4km long, three star difficulty.  Lots of dust in the air on this section.  Cervelo have begun working, as they can sacrifice Roger Hammond to aid Thor Hushovd. Sadly for them, Fabian Cancellara has 57" on them.

1613 CET - The gap is now 1'04".  I'm told the race organisers are going to end the race 35 km early to avoid anymore humiliation for several riders. 

*Some of the above may not be true. Are the others just thinking of the battle for second place now? Perhaps for Flanders and this race Cancellara should have to ride on a Unicycle.... That idea came from a T. Boonen, who is from Belgium, I'm told).

1615 CET - 35km to go, 1'18" is the gap for Cancellara now. Game over, surely  At first I thought Cancellara attacked too early, but with "chasers" like those ... well .. Again Leif Hoste was everyone in this group to their turn. Again this falls on deaf ears.

Fabs - me too. Perhaps we should not call the Boonen group the "chase" group anymore - just call it the NON-chase group

While Boonen's attempt to win three consecutive Paris-Roubaix looks to be over, Cancellara is on his way to his second golden cobble trophy in the velodrome.

Cancellara is now on section 7: Templeuve - Le Moulin de Vertain. This is split into two - the first is 200m long, the second is 500m long, and was discovered fairly recently. It had been covered by mud and grass previously.  Bjorn Leukemans is now trying to liven up the chase group; the gap is now 1'35".

1621 CET - Both Thor Hushovd and Roger Hammond appear to be tiring towards the end of section 7.Hammond now attacks off the chase group. Wants to get himself a second place. Boonen looks devastated or maybe annoyed at himself? He's certainly not a happy man at the moment.

Our Live Coverage Continues in Part 3.

Read Giles Belbin's extensive race preview
Official updated start list, here.

Related Articles
108th Paris-Roubaix - Start List
108th Paris-Roubaix - Live Ticker Part 1
108th Paris-Roubaix - Live Ticker Part 3

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