love love love that picture of the belgian guys parading around, beers in hand, strutting their stern joyless faces.
I am not a disgruntled Pipo fanboy. I like Tommeke just as much. Moreover, the real victim was probably Thor.
Without a motorcade tow, Pipo would have caught Tom. And the odds are that would not work together, as each would be want to tow the other to the line. That being the case, Thor and the Silence-Lotto Boys would have made up 30 -40 seconds and everyone would have come into the Velodrome together.
In sum, Flecha only ruined his own race by crashing and damaging his bike. Hoste and Thor’s crashes were neither here nor there. Rather, the kilo or two of draft that Tom so timely received broke open the race.
If Tommeke owes tribute to anyone of anything it ain’t the cobbles — rather its the nice group of race officials and cameramen that motorpaced him out to a 10-second gap over his unassisted pursuer.
I saw it with my own eyes and the replays are available (at a price) on line. Boonen got a nice, big, long tow after Hushovd’s crash.
What is the Cervelo rider doing in that photograph? Asking the fans to check out his nearly bare ass?!?
Great collection of photos, as always.
Not entertaining??? The only race that truly tests both man and machine. As they say, it’s not about having good luck, it’s about not having bad luck at PR. As impressive and entertaining as Kate Beckinsale in leather fighting werewolves! If you don’t like the Queen, then you are merely a peasant with bad taste.
I’ve never understood the allure of PR. I get that it’s really hard and shitty conditions. It encourages the most negative tactics. Uninteresting racing.
This year everyone crashed, except Boonen, and he won. I realize that he helped narrow the final group down with attacks, but the last 40k was a freak show.
Given that equipment malfunctions and wrecked motorbikes always play a bigger role than good tactics, I just think it’s overrated.
Yes, it’s impressive, but it’s not entertaining.
Beautiful race. Made me wonder what Boonen might have done in last week’s Tour of Flanders if Pozzato hadn’t hitched onto his back wheel. With Chavanel AND Devolder up the road, there’s no reason for Boonen to attack, but if Pozzato had marked Devolder, then clearly Boonen could have gone, and then what?
A great win yesterday. Flecha’s crash was shocking. Hushovd’s was ridiculous.
I still thought Boonen had too much to do with so many Ks left, but he cranked it out.
Early on SaxoBank looked strong, but in the end, they were just a bunch of domestiques riding on the front of the pack. They completely lacked a strong man to win the race.
Great race, Boonen had mud and blood on him as he crossed the line on his second bike. Throw in just a little bit more rain and that’s how it is supposed to go every year.
The next-to-last photo on Boonen on the big screen winning on the velodrome is awesome; plain, abstract, and very telling all at the same time. Paris-Roubaix is like Super Bowl Sunday for me, it’s the race that got me into cycling in the first place, and I eagerly await it each year like a religious experience (while praying for rain, wind, and mud in northern France).
I think Boonen slipped the cobbles of the Carrefour de L’Arbre a few Euros and maybe some fine Belgian Ale in return for bringing down the other riders in the break. I tell you, it must be some rare Belgian trait to race cobbles and not crash or get a mechanical, and Boonen has just that.