Cancellara Wins Paris-Roubaix
Fabian Cancellara (CSC) has won Paris-Roubaix.
Fabian Cancellara (CSC) has won Paris-Roubaix. The Swiss classics man and time triallist surged away from eight companions to win the 259-km Hell of the North in 6:07:54. After the disqualifications of three riders, defending champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step) took second, and Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) finished third.
At the start, sun and a northwest wind greeted the riders. From the start, the pace was fast. At
Frank Hoj (Gerolsteiner) bridged up to the chasers. At
As the Arenberg Trench approached, the bunch accelerated and jostled for position. In the front, Portal crashed, and in the bunch Sebastien Minard (Cofidis) followed suit. Gent-Wevelgem champion Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) punctured and saw his chances ride up the road.
Boonen led the charge into the Arenberg, with Hincapie, Gert Steegmans (Davitamon), and Cancellara in attendance. Cancellara accelerated and led the group past Posthuma, Schreck, and Portal. The combustion created a lead group of 17 riders. They were 2003 Paris-Roubaix winner Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon); Steegmans, Hincapie, Leif Hoste, and Vladimir Gusev (both from Discovery Channel); Cancellara and Lars Michaelsen (both from CSC); Boonen; Steffen Wesemann and Stephan Schreck (both from T-Mobile); 1997 Hell of the North champion Frederic Guesdon and Bernhard Eisel (both from Francaise des Jeux); Posthuma and Juan Antonio Flecha (both from Rabobank); Portal; and Ballan and Enrico Franzoi (both from Lampre). Quick Step saw the danger in Boonen being without teammates and tried to send Filippo Pozzato forward, but the Italian could not reach the team captain.
The group accelerated, and Schreck, Posthuma, Franzoi, and Portal were dropped. Discovery Channel did much of the driving, and Michaelsen worked hard for Cancellara.