Tom Boonen of Omega Pharma Quick Step soloed into the history books, as he has all spring, with a long, solo, dominant victory in Paris-Roubaix. The Belgian legend, now tied with Roger De Vaeminck with four victories in the Queen of the Classics, rode away from a dozen top favorites on a short stretch of cobbles with over 50km to go and was never seen again. At the outset Boonen was joined by his teammate Niki Terpstra, with Sebastian Turgot and Alessandro Ballan almost in contact, but Terpstra accelerated hard, created a two-man breakaway for about 5km, blew his engine, and launched Boonen into the stratosphere. Team Sky had four riders in the ten chasers, including favorites Juan Antonio Flecha and Edvald Boasson Hagen, but they could only watch Boonen stretch his lead further and further, out to as much as 1.40, as the Flemish hero got closer to home soil.
No serious chase ever materialized. Lars Boom of Rabobank attacked from the chase shortly before and during the Carrefour de l'Arbe secteur and chopped 15 seconds off the lead, but no more. Ballan of BMC gave a brief dig, but all that did was winnow down the chase. Matthew Ladagnous of AG2R left the pursuit with a flat, leaving Flecha, Ballan and Boom in the race for second. The trio was joined by Sebastian Turgot and Niki Terpstra again as they entered the velodrome where Turgot barely held on for second ahead of a charging Ballan.
- E3 Prijs: Tom Boonen
- Gent-Wevelgem: Tom Boonen
- Ronde van Vlaanderen: Tom Boonen
- Parijs-Roubaix: Tom Boonen
Take that, history. Real results on the flip...
Lots of action today. Here's the scene in Orchies:
And the primary chase group:
- Tom Boonen, Omega Pharma Quick Step
- Sebastian Turgot, Europcar, at 1.39
- Alessandro Ballan, BMC, s.t.
- Juan Antonio Flecha, Sky, s.t.
- Niki Terpstra, Quick Step, s.t.
- Lars Boom, Rabobank, s.t.
- Matteo Tosatto, Saxo Bank, at 3.31
- Mathew Hayman, Sky, s.t.
- Johan Van Summeren, Garmin-Barracuda, s.t.
- Maarten Wynants, Rabobank, s.t.
- Luca Paolini, Katusha, s.t.
- Matthieu Ladagnous, FDJ, s.t.
- Gregory Rast, Radio Shack-Nissan-Trek, at 4.23
- Thor Hushovd, BMC, s.t.
- Taylor Phinney, BMC, at 4.37
- Steve Chainel, FDJ, s.t.
- Kevin Hulsmans, Farnese Vini, s.t.
- Aleksejs Saramontins, Cofidis, s.t.
- Jimmy Casper, AG2R, s.t.
- Marco Marcato, Vacansoleil, s.t.