Van Summeren solos to gutsy victory at Paris-Roubaix

Cancellera nets second with late-race attack

Johan Van Summeren soloed over the finish line in the Roubaix Velodrome, surviving from an early break which foiled the favourites in the Hell of the North. The Garmin-Cervelo rider took the biggest win of his career, ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) and Maarten Tjallingi (Rabobank).

Crashes reduced the favourites to Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek), Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC) by the end. The group had been unable to work together and make a definitive move. Cancellara finally was able to break from them and work his way up, but it was too late, and he had to settle for second.

With tears in his eyes, Van Summeren said, "When I was in the lead group, I knew I had a chance to win. To win ahead of Cancellara - he is such a great rider. I had wonderful legs, it was a great day."

Fast run-up to the cobbles

With an average speed of 45km/h in the first two hours, there was little room for breaks to form. There were attempts, including riders like Bradley Wiggins (Sky) but none got away. There were several crashes including Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo), but the Australian was able to continue in contrast to another outsider, Vladimir Gusev (Katusha). The Russian abandoned early in the race.

Ten brave men gap the peloton

Just before the first pavé sector, after almost 100km of racing, a group of eight received some space from the peloton. The group featured David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Martin Elmiger (AG2R), Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun), Maarten Tjalingii (Rabobank), Mitchell Docker (Skil-Shimano), Nelson Oliveira (Radioshack), David Veilleux (Europcar) and Timon Seubert (Netapp).

The eight attackers gathered a lead of one and a half minutes. In the peloton there were some counterattacks at the first pavé sectors. While a move from André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) with Koen de Kort (Skil-Shimano) and Gorazd Stangelj (Astana) bridged up with the leaders after 136km, Oliveira dropped back into a chasing group with Luca Paolini (Katusha), Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) and Jaroslaw Marycz (Saxo Bank-SunGard). They were eventually caught by the peloton while speeding towards the famous Arenberg forest. The gap from the 10 remaining leaders on the peloton was 2:40 with 100km to go.

Storming towards the Arenberg forest

In the 10 kilometres before the key pavé sector of Arenberg, the speed in the peloton increased. The result was that the gap between the leaders and the peloton dropped, but also that several crashes occurred in the peloton; Haussler and Roger Hammond were the main casualties. BMC's team leader George Hincapie had bad luck as he punctured shortly before the forest. Elmiger and Tjallingii led the breakaway group over the terrible cobbles of the Trouée d' Arenberg, having just under two minutes left on the peloton.

Arenberg cobbles and Quick Step setbacks

Riders were all over the place in the famous passage through the forest. Geraint Thomas (Sky) received a wheel from teammate Wiggins when he flatted. Suddenly the TV camera focused on favourite Tom Boonen, who was standing next to his bike in the middle of the forest. The Belgian's hopes of equalling Roger De Vlaeminck's record of four wins were ruined by a chain problem. It took ages before Boonen eventually received a new bike and by the time he left the forest, the gap on the main peloton was one minute. When seven men set up an attack in the peloton, others went down, including co-favourite Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM). Quick Step's bad luck continued when their other leader Sylvain Chavanel punctured out of the main peloton.

In front there were still 10 riders left with one minute on a first chase group of seven riders: Lars Boom (Rabobank), Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Cervélo), Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank-Sungard), Lars Bak (HTC-Highroad), Matthew Hayman (Sky), Manuel Quinziato (BMC) and Fréderic Guesdon (FDJ).

Game over for Quick Step

Quick Step's run of bad luck wasn't over when a Rabobank rider went down on the cobbles of sector number 14 at Sars-et-Rosières, taking down Boonen and many others within him. Once again, Boonen needed a lot of time before he got back on his bike and this time his chances on winning this race were down to zero. Meanwhile Chavanel was able to work his way back to the main peloton at the feed zone after 190km. Just before the first chase group bridged up with the 10 leaders, Van Summeren and Roelandts suddenly went down, but both Belgians were able to continue and get back in the front of the race.

In the meantime, Quick Step concluded its unlucky day in the north of France with a crash from Chavanel, leaving them without riders in front of the race. In the chaos after the Arenberg forest a counterattack with John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad), Grégory Rast (Radioshack), Tom Leezer (Rabobank) and Gabriel Rasch (Garmin-Cervélo) was closing the gap to the 17 leaders.

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Cancellara unleashes his devils on Mons-en-Pévèle

At 60km from the finish line, a cease-fire in the peloton shed some light on the race situation. There were 21 leaders in front. They built up a gap of one and a half minutes on the peloton that still included former winners Cancellara, O'Grady and Ballan. Two crashes in the peloton marred the fun for Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), and later also Leukemans once again.

Just before the cobbles of the renowned tenth sector, the five-starred cobbles of Mons-en-Pévèle Tomas Vaitkus (Astana) and Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Cervélo) anticipated the debates in the peloton. A smart move because on the cobbles there was a huge effort from Cancellara with only Hushovd, Flecha and Ballan able to follow.

Meanwhile several riders dropped out of the lead group. Greipel and De Kort were among them. Vaitkus and Vanmarcke were quickly caught back and the latter delivered some top work to bring the group of seven closer to the leaders, who were riding one minute ahead of them, with 40 kilometres left to race.

At sector number 8, Pont-Thibaut à Ennevelin, the top favourite accelerated again and this time only Hushovd was able to hold the wheel from Cancellara although after the cobbles, Ballan closed the gap on the duo. Sixteen riders were leading the race with Cancellara, Hushovd and Ballan trailing by only half a minute.

The attacks in the lead group were flying around, without severe damage although two riders got dropped. Behind them, there was no cooperation in the elite chase. Cancellara didn't receive support from Hushovd or Ballan, and the Swiss was clearly not interested in a Flanders-scenario.

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As a results, several riders managed to return to the trio including Leukemans, while the leaders gained a gap of almost a minute when taking on sector number 6 in Cysoing.

A little later former Paris-Roubaix winner Guesdon flatted and dropped out of the lead group. Just before the infamous sector number 5 at Camphin-en-Pévèle ,it was Danish strong man Bak who accelerated. Rast, Tjallingii and Van Summeren had something left in their tank and they joined the Dane in front of the race.

With 15km to go, the gap had grown to a minute, and Cancellara decided to keep on fighting. He took off, but the others were not about to let him go alone. The time trial world champion flew along, dragging Hushovd with him, overtaking any of the former lead group. His efforts were in vain, though, as he was unable to make any kind of clear break.

At the same time,Van Summeren took off from the lead group, pulling away in a strong solo effort. Tjallingii gave chase, but the Belgian was too strong and coudln't be caught.

Eventually Cancellara was able to break away and catch Tjallingii and Bak, but was not able to come further ahead.

Van Summeren glanced back at the flamme rouge, and saw no one behind him. He entered the Velodrome and rode the closing lap in the blazing sunshine, raising his arms in victory as he crossed the line.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo6:07:28 
2Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek0:00:19 
3Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
4Grégory Rast (Swi) Team RadioShack  
5Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad0:00:21 
6Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:36 
7Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad0:00:47 
8Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
9Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling  
10Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
11Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ  
12Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
13Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
14Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
15Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano  
16Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar  
17Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale  
18Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Pro Team Astana  
19John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:02:10 
20Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
21André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:03:43 
22Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard  
23Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
24Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
25David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar0:03:45 
26Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:04:06 
27Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:04:46 
28Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
29Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
30Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
31Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard  
32Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
33Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ  
34Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
35Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
36Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
37Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
38Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team  
39Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
40Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
41Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Team RadioShack  
42George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team  
43Gustav Larsson (Swe) Saxo Bank Sungard  
44Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Pro Team Astana  
45Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team  
46Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:04:54 
47Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana0:06:42 
48Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Team RadioShack0:09:16 
49Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
50Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad0:10:06 
51Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - Shimano0:10:10 
52David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
53Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
54Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
55Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
56Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
57Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
58Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
59Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
60Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:10:14 
61Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar  
62Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team Europcar  
63Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
64Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp0:10:16 
65Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
66Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
67Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
68William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ  
69Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:12:58 
70Robert Retschke (Ger) Team Netapp  
71Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Team RadioShack  
72Bjorn Selander (USA) Team RadioShack  
73Jan Barta (Cze) Team Netapp  
74Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
75Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ  
76Benjamin King (USA) Team RadioShack  
77Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
78Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale  
79Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
80Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:13:02 
81Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
82Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Pro Team Astana  
83Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
84Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
85Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar  
86Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale0:13:04 
87Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team0:13:06 
88Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
89Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:13:15 
90Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling0:13:50 
91Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
92Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
93Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank Sungard0:13:53 
94Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek  
95Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ  
96Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:13:59 
97Marco Bandiera (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team0:14:02 
98Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD0:17:42 
99Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) Lampre - ISD  
100Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
101Mathieu Halleguen (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
102Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling  
103Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
104Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
105Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
106Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
107Michaël Baer (Swi) Team Netapp  
108Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp  
DNFDominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard Trek  
DNFGiacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard Trek  
HDStuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek  
DNFJoost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard Trek  
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek  
DNFWouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek  
DNFRoger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFHeinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFKurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
DNFJeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling  
HDGeraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling  
DNFMatthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad  
HDMatt Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad  
DNFMark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad  
HDGatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad  
DNFTom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFAndreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFGert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFJens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFVicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFAlexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team  
DNFJohn Murphy (USA) BMC Racing Team  
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team  
DNFVladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team  
DNFLeif Hoste (Bel) Katusha Team  
DNFMikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team  
DNFSerguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team  
DNFAliaksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Katusha Team  
DNFLuca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team  
DNFNikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team  
DNFSteve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFLloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFAnthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFBjörn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFThomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFGorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFWouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFFrederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFBorut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFArnaud Coyot (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
DNFRomain Matheou (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
DNFStéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
DNFTheo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFRick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFMaarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFOlivier Bonnaire (Fra) FDJ  
DNFYauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ  
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
HDMarcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
DNFRoger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
HDMartin Reimer (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFJacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFEdward King (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFArnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
HDAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFVitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISD  
HDVitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) Lampre - ISD  
DNFAdriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
DNFBalint Szeghalmi (Hun) Lampre - ISD  
HDLuke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard  
DNFDavid Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard  
DNFNelson Oliveira (Por) Team RadioShack  
DNFJesse Sergent (NZl) Team RadioShack  
DNFAndrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team  
DNFJosé Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFIgnatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Movistar Team  
DNFCarlos Oyarzun (Chi) Movistar Team  
DNFLuis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFFrancisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFAllan Davis (Aus) Pro Team Astana  
DNFSimon Clarke (Aus) Pro Team Astana  
DNFValentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Pro Team Astana  
DNFJavier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFJonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFPierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFGorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFJon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
HDMiguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFDaniel Sesma (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFEric Baumann (Ger) Team Netapp  
DNFSteven Cozza (USA) Team Netapp  
DNFAlexander Gottfried (Ger) Team Netapp  
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFRenaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFSébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  

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