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Defending champion Johan Vansummeren finished in 9th place.
2011 winner salutes 2012 champion
Johan Vansummeren was the surprise winner of Paris-Roubaix 2011, the sole survivor of an escape group. The Garmin-Barracuda rider had hoped to repeat his feat this year, but finished only ninth, three and a half minutes down. But the Belgian paid the respect due to Paris-Roubaix winner Tom Boonen, saying “He was really impressive.”
“I just didn't have the legs. It's that simple,” Vansummeren told HLN.be.
But no one really had a chance against Boonen on Sunday, as the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider finished off the race solo in front for more than 50 kilometres. “Tom just rode us out of the wheel, out of the saddle. I never saw anything like it before,” he said.
“It was just hopeless. He was much too strong.”
According to Vansummeren, Boonen's rivals would only have had one chance to catch him. “If the race had gone another 100 kilometers, we might have caught him.”