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Tom Boonen won the Hell of the North (Paris-Roubaix) for the third time yesterday

Added: monday 13 April 2009 at 23:33:00
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    Tom Boonen won the Hell of the North (Paris-Roubaix) for the third time yesterdayAfter 2005 and 2008, Tornado Tom won his third Paris-Roubaix yesterday in Roubaix.
    In the Vélodrome he crossed the finish line way before number two, Filippo Pozzato.

    Just like last year and as it's usually the case in the race which is also called the Hell of the North, the 27 cobble stone zones - of 52,9 kilometers from a total of 259 kilometers - gave several falls, flat tyres and sometimes clouds of dust
    .

    The description of the race

    Just like last year Paris-Roubaix took place under a cloudy sky but without any rain. Sometimes the sun came through.

    Servais KnavenAfter several attempted escapes without any success in the first 40 kilometers the first real leading group was formed after 42 kilometers and it was composed of 11 riders: Maarten Wynants (QuickStep), Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank), Angelo Furlan (Lampre-NGC), Steven Cozza (Garmin Slipstream), Gregory Henderson (Columbia High Road), Yoann Offredo (Française des Jeux), Wesley Sulzberger (Française des Jeux), Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), Servais Knaven (photo, Milram), Steve Chainel (BBox Bouygues Telecom) and Andreas Klier (Cervélo TestTeam).

    48 kilometers later, at kilometer 90, these 11 riders had a 1'20" lead on their sole follower, Gatis Smukulis (AG2R La Mondiale), and 1'45" on the peloton while at the end of the cobble stone zone from Troisvilles to Inchy it was up to 2'55".
    The leading group had its maximum lead at the end of cobble stones zone number 24 of Saint-Python: 3'55".

    Yoann Offredo experiences some problems with his bike in cobble stones zone number 21 from Verchain-Maugré to Quérénaing and at the end of this zone he's 1'05" behind the leading group which than has a 3'35" lead on the peloton. A few cobble stones zones further he's taken back by the peloton.

    After the Tranchée d'Arenberg (cobble stones zone number 17) a group of 20 riders including last year's winner Tom Boonen, is at 1'55". This group grows to 80 riders who are at 1'30" of the leading group at the end of the cobble stones zone number 16 from Hornaing to Wandignies-Hamage.

    The leading group is finally taken back by a group of about 30 riders in cobble stones zone number 12 in Orchies.

    That's also where a terrible accident happens: on the cobble stones the driver of a motor of the organisation loses the control over his motor and drives straight into the public. This leads to 16 injured people of which 4 badly injured. They have been transported to the hospital.

    Five riders manage to get away: Wouter Weylandt (QuickStep), Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank), Juan-Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas) and Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam). They are finally taken back by the favorites and a group of 15 riders is formed at front.

    Thor HushovdIn this group of 15 there are 6 riders who manage to take a small lead: Tom Boonen (QuickStep), Leif Hoste and Johan van Summeren (Silence Lotto), Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), Thor Hushovd (photo, Cervélo TestTeam) and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha). After cobble stones zone number 7 of Templeuve - Moulin-de-Vertain they have a 1'05" lead on the peloton.

    In cobble stones zone number 4, the famous Carrefour de l'Arbre, Leif Hoste, Johan van Summeren and Juan Antonio Flecha fall and Thor Hushovd falls as well a bit later while Tom Boonen accellerates: at the end of this zone he has a 10 seconds lead on Pozzato and 35 on Hoste, van Summeren and Hushovd while Flecha who had to change his bike after the fall is at one minute.

    Tom BoonenBoonen (photo) manages to extend his lead on Pozzato to 27 seconds at 4 kilometers from the finish, 40 in the last kilometer and finally he wins his third Paris-Roubaix with a 47 seconds lead on Filippo Pozzato.
    Thor Hushovd and Leif Hoste finish 30 seconds later on the third and fourth place.

    > Click here to see all my pictures of Paris-Roubaix 2009 (125 photos online)

    The final ranking

    1/ Tom Boonen (QuickStep) in 6h 15' 53"
    2/ Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) at 00' 47"
    3/ Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) at + 01' 17"
    4/ Leif Hoste (Silence Lotto) at + 01' 17"
    5/ Johan van Summeren (Silence Lotto) at + 01' 22"
    6/ Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) at + 02' 14"
    7/ Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) at + 03' 13"
    8/ Sylvain Chavanel (QuickStep) at + 03' 15"
    9/ Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas) at + 05' 00"
    10/ Matti Brechel (Saxo Bank) at + 05' 29"

    The images of the last kilometer

    The UCI World Ranking

    Heinrich HausslerWith his 7th place, Heinrich Haussler takes enough points to go up to the first place of the UCI World Ranking, ahead of Alberto Contador who won the Tour of Basque country.

    The ranking now is as follows:
    1/ Heinrich Haussler (photo, Cervélo TestTeam) - 197 points
    2/ Alberto Contador (Astana) - 188
    3/ Allan Davis (QuickStep) - 183
    4/ Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) - 169
    5/ Antonio Colom (Katusha) - 145
    6/ Thor Hushovd(Cervélo TestTeam) - 140
    7/ Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) - 130
    8/ Mark Cavendish (Columbia High Road) - 110
    9/ Michele Scarponi (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli) - 107
    10/ Stijn Devolder (QuickStep) - 104

    In the ranking by teams QuickStep is at the first place with 517 points, followed by Cervélo TestTeam with 370 points and Columbia High Road with 359 points.

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Paris-Roubaix| Cycling general (except Tour de France)| Classics | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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