Paris Roubaix Live Ticker
Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of the 103rd Paris Roubaix. please remember to refresh the page using the F5 button.
After one hour's racing with an average speed of 45,5 km/h., four men had made a breakaway and gained 1'15'' on the peloton. The riders are Sébastien Chavanel (Bouygues Telecom), Florent Brard (Agritubel), Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis) and Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros).
Riding against the wind the 4 men have been joined by 4 more after 57 km of racing. The leading 8 men are Sébastien Chavanel (Bouygues Telecom), Florent Brard (Agritubel), Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis), Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner), Stéphane Berges (Agritubel), Erwin Thijs (MrBookmaker), David Herrero (Euskaltel) and Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros).
After 80 km of riding the lead is up to 9 minutes. Carlos Barredo has punctured but has rejoined the escapees.
97 km of racing and the 8 escapees are on the first sector of pave at Troisvilles which is 2200 m long. They now have a lead of 10'45''.
The peloton reach the sector of pavé de Troisvilles. T-Mobile lead the peloton which strings out into a coloured line. All the favourites like Boonen, Van Petegem and Backstedt are well placed. Behind Ludovic Martin (RAGT Semences) and Walter Bénéteau (Bouygues telecom) both crash. Martin seems ok but Bénéteau is taking a while to get going.
Troisvilles also sees Gerolsteiner's Haselbacher lose touch while Höj suffers a puncture.
Onto section 24 of pave at Quiévy, the leading group are now 7 men and still have a lead of 8'40'' David Herrero (Euskaltel) has lost touch with the leading men.
Andréa Tafi (Saunier Duval) punctures on the pave the winner in 1999, is riding his last Paris-Roubaix. Roger Hammond is doing a great deal of work for the well placed Discovery Team, and their leader George Hincapie.
111 km covered - and after 4 sections of pave the 7 leaders have 7'50 on the peloton they are -
Sébastien Chavanel (Bouygues Telecom), Florent Brard (Agritubel), Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis), Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner), Stéphane Berges (Agritubel), Erwin Thijs (MrBookmaker), and Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros).
Last French winner of the race, Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux), has punctured but is helped back to the peloton.
A crash sees a number of riders fall at the back of the peloton including Ludo Dierckxsens, the Landbouwkrediet rider is also in his last Roubaix.
126 km covered and on the pave of Vertain, Roger Hammond suffers a mechanical problem, just the sort of bad luck teams do not need on a day like today.
The seven leaders now have a 7'35'' advantage, the gap is dropping quite steadily.
A big crash in the middle of the peloton sees three big names tumble Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto). Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux) and Tom Steels. Van Petegem, looses time but starts to chase back.
The peloton has fractured, the first peloton with Boonen and Wesemann are on section 20 at Buhat a second peloton with Hincapie is just behind while Van Petegem is 2'00'' behind in a group of five riders.
The gap is dropping quickly - the 7 leaders now have 5'35 on the Boonen group - Van Petegem still 2 minutes a drift, and he obviously fell heavily, there is blood on his shoes.
The Hincapie-Hammond group rejoin the favourites in the main chse group. D'Hollender (Landbouwkrediet) and Minard (RAGT Semences) have atttacked and are trying to bridge to the leading 7 men.
The entire Davitamon-Lotto has dropped back to help Van Petegem, Van Bon has done tremendous work for his captain and it looks as if they will get back to the leaders with the gap now under 1 minute.
Van Petegem rejoins the peloton, but how much has that effort weakened his chances for later on in the race.
115 km to go.
The leading group are over the pavé d'Aulnoy-les-Valenciennes with
5'20'' on the two chasers and 5'45'' on the peloton. Sébastien Chavanel punctures and Carlos Barredo has chain trouble at the end of the sector. Martin Elmiger, Phonak, crashes in the peloton and loses a lot of time.
Sébastien Chavanel loses a lot of time and will have a hard job to catch the 6 men now in the lead. He is having more bike problems and is now a minute back on the 6 leaders who are Florent Brard (Agritubel), Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis), Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner), Stéphane Berges (Agritubel), Erwin Thijs (MrBookmaker), and Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros).
110 km to go - and Peter Van Petegem is quitting the race. It took an awful lot of effort, but clearly he has hurt himself in that crash and is nearly in tears as he faces the inevitable. A great shame after great team work to do everything they could to keep him in the race.
Discovery now move to the front of the peloton, Hincapie well placed, Hoste and Ekimov also well placed, T Mobile also well represented , while Chavanel (Sylvain) is wearing toe clips.
Sébastien Chavanel is brought back into the peloton, the 6 escapees now have a lead of 4'30.
172 km covered - and the 6 leaders still have 5'11'' on the peloton. It is Quickstep and Discovery at the front of the peloton, but Tony Cruz (Discovery) takes a tumble, but he quickly remounts on the Haveluy (2400 m) sector. Meanwhile Stéphane Bergès and Florent Brard, are doing a lot of work for the escapees, they are keen to get the Agritubel team in the spotlight.Nazon (AG2R Prévoyance), Farazijn (Cofidis) and Portal (AG2R Prévoyance) have all been dropped by the peloton while Bortolomi (Lampre) has punctured.
178 km covered - Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) can no longer hold the wheel of the 6 escapees and is dropped. Back in the peloton Français Anthony Geslin (Bouygues Telecom) punctures.
The five escapees remaining are Florent Brard (Agritubel), Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis), Stéphane Berges (Agritubel), Erwin Thijs (MrBookmaker), and Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros). They still have 4 minutes on the peloton.
On the pave section of Haveluy the Belgium rider Detilloux (Française des Jeux) has fallen badly.
Meanwhile an succession of attacks sees the peloton split Pozzato puts the pressure on for Quick Step. Boonen is with him, as is Hincapie (Discovery), Michaelsen (CSC), Van Bon (Davitamon-Lotto), Backstedt (Liquigas), Flecha and Cancellara (Fassa) a very dangerous select group. In the peloton Commesso has crashed, his front wheel wrecked, while Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) is dropped. This has disrupted the chase. Rabobank are trying to organise things and Wesemann a big favourite has missed the split.
Pozzato has been dropped by the front group of chasers leaving Boonen isolated, Wesemann has now got the T mobile team chasing hard. The 5 escapees have 2'24 on the boonen group while the peloton is a minute further back.
The 5 escapees are on section 13 of the pavé after 194 km of racing. Florent Brard (Agritubel), Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis), Stéphane Berges (Agritubel), Erwin Thijs (MrBookmaker), and Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros). But there lead id falling quickly.
Agritubel are forcing the pace for the front runners, as it starts to rain on the pave.
Zone 12 of pave 57 km to go, Boonen, Hincapie, Backstedt, Flecha and Cancellara. Van Bon tries to close the gap alone.
The 5 race leaders now have a minute on the Boonen group. A crash in the peloton sees Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) Marc Wauters (Rabobank) down, Wesemann chases alone - well he has Hulsman's with him but he won't help. Wesemann and Hulsman reach Van Bon.
The Boonen group will catch the 5 escapees as the rain starts to pour down. Lars Michaelsen is doing a lot of work at the front.
48 km to go.
Florent Brard (Agritubel), Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis), Stéphane Berges (Agritubel), Erwin Thijs (MrBookmaker), and Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros), Boonen (Quickstep) Hincapie (Discovery), Backstedt (Liquigas), Michalelsen (CSC), Flecha and Cancellara (Fassa)have about 30 seconds on Wesemann and Hulsmans - with the T-Mobile man chasing like mad.
Zone 10 of the pave Mons-en-Pévèle (km 212): 3000 mètres, 5 étoiles - 46.5 km to go. Barredo is dropped again on the pave but will probably get back on again. Flecha working hard at the minute it is advantage Fassa at the front. Wesemann now 38'' back working hard with van Bon while Hulsmans rides behind.
Zone 9 pave Merignies (km 218): 700 mètres, 2 étoiles The leaders are down to 5 top men. Backstedt, Boonen, Hincapie, Michaelsen, and Flecha.
The Wesemann Van Bon duo are picking up those dropped from the top group.
40 km to go, Cancellara and Barredo have fought back and have joined up with the Wesemann group, which is now over a minute behind the five front flyers.
Section 8 Pont-Thibaut (km 221,4) :1400 mètres, 3 étoiles - the five big names dance over the cobbles, Boonen leading them over, behnd him Backstedt a flash of lime green against the muddy paves. Behind him Mmichaelsen and Hincapie, with Flecha last in line.
Carlos Barredo is dropped again from the Wesemann group - what a brave race by the Liberty Seguros rider!
35 km to go - the 5 leaders are Boonen (Quick Step), Backstedt (Liquigas), Hincapie (Discovery Channel), Flecha (Fassa Bortolo) and Michaelsen (CSC). They have a minute on the Wesemann that includes Cancellara, who had a mechnical problem, Hulsmans, Arnaud Coyot, Florent Brard Van Bon and Stéphane Bergès. But Wesemann is doing most of the work.
Zone 7 of the pave - Templeuve l’Epinette past the famous windmill - the famous five push on - Boonen again at the front.
32 km to go. Wesemann and van Bon continue their desperate chase, still 1 minute gap.
31 km to go - the gap is now 1'1'' the five leaders working well together Boonen (Quick Step), Backstedt (Liquigas), Hincapie (Discovery Channel), Flecha (Fassa Bortolo) and Michaelsen (CSC) rolling through nicely together to keep the chasers at bay. Don't worry race fans, this truce will not last for long.
Even though all these riders are big lads, Backstedt still towers above his fellow escapees! Behind the Wesemann group is still not too organised and I can't see them bridging this gap now with just 27.5 km to go. Wesemann's problem is that most of the group have been out all day and are too tired to help much, Hulsmanns wont work with Boonen up the road and Cancellara is just confusing the chase with Flecha in the front group.
Section 6 Cysoing-Bourghelles (km 233,6): 1400 mètres, 4 étoiles- Boonen again takes the lead on the pave, Backstedt on his wheel. In the chasing group Cancellara attacks on the pave but Wesemann counters. The group stays together and Van Bon picks up the pace.
The five leaders are gradually extending the gap it is now 1 '32''.
21 km to go. Wesemann (T-Mobile) is making a great effort but he is chasing 5 of the best one day riders in the world. Not so easy.
19 km to go the gap is up to 1'52'' the winner of Paris Roubaix 2005 will be from the front 5 men.
Section 5 Camphin-en-Pévèle (km 239,9): 1800 mètres, 4 étoiles - Michaelsen now at the front setting a hard pace, Boonen behind him, Backstedt third.Now Backstedt attacks!!!!
He strings out the 5 , Flecha on his wheel.
It comes back together.
Le Carrefour de l’Arbre (km 242,6): 2100 mètres, 5 étoiles- Flecha leads the famous five over the cobbles.Huge crowds rough cobbles - Michaelsen has a problem he is dropped, Backstedt struggling - Boonen attacks!Flecha Hincapie keep with him.
Zone 3 Gruson (km 244,8): 1100 mètres, 2 étoiles, Boonen, Flecha and Hincapie in that order, Backstedt has gone he is maybe 7 seconds back.
The podium is decided: Boonen, Hincapie or Flecha - who will it be?
The real pave sections are over, the remaining 2 are comparitively easy so it is a head to head duel between these three.
The three men stil working well together.
Zone 2 Hem (km 251,4): 1400 mètres, 1 étoile - the three men still together with just 6 kilometres to go. Flecha on the front, Hincapie behind him, Boonen on his shoulder.
Well, what can separate these giants of the road? They all seem equally matched, equally strong will it be decided in the velodrome? 5 km to go...
Flecha, Hincapie and Boonen stil together, they are on the outskirts of Roubaix. You can feel the tension in the velodrome.
3 km to go - the three podium men still working together.
2 km to go - still the three together: Flecha, Hincapie Boonen all working well.
Zone 1 Roubaix (km 257,6): 300 mètres, 1 étoile - the three men will decide this in the Velodrome!
They enter to a huge roar. Hincapie is at the front. Now Flecha ahead of Hincapie and Boonen as the bell rings for the last lap.
The sprint is fierce. Boonen in the best spot charges for the line and wins! Hincapie 2nd Flecha third.
So Boonen achieves an historic double - Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix in the same year. Hincapie, in his best finish, in 11 attempts, and Flecha, well another brave effort by the Spaniard.
Thanks for reading - more on Roubaix later!