Wow! Last night we were gifted with a brilliant bike race that showed us why cycling is the most exciting sport on Earth. Unlike most editions of Paris-Roubaix, this one didn’t rely so heavily on luck. Tactics, timing strength, and bike handling won the race – the way it should be.
I have to admit, I usually enjoy seeing one of the favorites win a big race like this. Mostly because it validates my tipping predictions and makes me look like I know what I’m talking about. However, seeing a workhorse like Johan Van Summeren take such a massive win is what makes bike racing such a remarkable sport. Johan Van Summeren didn’t come from nowhere though. He’s ridden to 8th and 5th in Paris-Roubaix before and Garmin had him as the ace up their sleeve. However, Van Summeren would have gone into the race in support of Hushovd, but what a surprise this was. Did anyone out there tip him for the win?
Cancellara versus the World may have been his own doing and it showed that being the strongest man in the race was his biggest disadvantage. Cancellara may lost Flanders and Roubaix a few weeks ago at E3 Prijs after he flexed his muscle and completely annihilated the field. After that, every single team rode against him and last night all the favorites basically neutralised each other. Rightfully so, no one in their right mind would share the work with Cancellara because they know he’d leave them in the dust as soon as he made his next move.
No doubt that the BIGRING award goes to Cancellara for riding an incredibly ballsy race, the man of the day for me (aside from Van Summeren) is Maarten Tjallingi (Rabobank) who was on the attack for half the race and rode to a 3rd place finish. Here is another guy who is always working his tail off for his teammates and it’s great to see him get a result like this.
Congratulations to Johan Van Summeren for 1.) Winning the 109th Paris-Roubaix, and 2) Proposing to his girlfriend with the biggest cobbled diamond in history.
My Favorite Race Moments:
- Watching Mitch Docker up there in the breakaway once again after a gutsy Gent-Wevelgem and Flanders, along with my mate Koen de Kort. You guys are awesome. See here for a post-race interview with Mitch on SBS.
- Cancellara riding past some of the chase groups as if it was a handicap race and he was a one-man scratch bunch catching limit. Unreal.
- Van Summeren finishing the last 5km on a flat tyre.
- Boonen and Chavanel’s bad luck crashes. Did you see how strong Boonen was when chasing back on after his mechanical on Arenberg?
- Motorbike cameras getting to close to the riders and affecting some of the moves.
- The #PRParty I showed up to wasn’t the party I had hoped for. What’s with you guys staying at home and watching the race from bed??? Soft. BTW, Paris-Roubaix party pics are starting to show up in my inbox. I’ll post later today or tomorrow.
The dust made the cobbles so slippery they may as well have been wet.
What a ride by Maarten Tjallingii
(L-R) Tjallingii, Cancellara, Rast
What I love about this sport is that even the pros finish off a tough race the same way as us punters do. Laying the grass with a can of coke. Congrats to Cookie for having a good crack and getting 22nd!
Fellow Canuck David Veilleux rode a terrific race on the front for most of it. He’s a hell of a good ice hockey player too.
1 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin-Cervelo 6:07:28
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 0:00:19
3 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank
4 Grégory Rast (Swi) RadioShack
5 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad 0:00:21
6 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC 0:00:36
7 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad 0:00:47
8 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Garmin-Cervelo
9 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky
10 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky
11 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ
12 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
13 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM
14 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
15 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil – Shimano
16 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar
17 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
18 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Astana
19 John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:02:10
20 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin-Cervelo
21 André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:03:43
22 Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard
23 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Garmin-Cervelo
24 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC
25 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar
48 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) RadioShack 0:09:16
106 Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto 17:42
HD Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek
DNF Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo
DNF Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC
HD Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard
DNF David Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard
DNF Allan Davis (Aus) Astana
DNF Simon Clarke (Aus) Astana
Alby looking like he just got out of a Chilean mine!
Wanna test your legs on the cobbles of Melburn? Sign up for one of the best events on offer. Registration opens this Friday.
Here is how Thor and Johan prepare for Melburn Roobaix: