Paris Roubaix 2013
There is no other race in the world like the Paris-Roubaix. The French race is known as the 'Hell of the North' thanks to its torturous pavé sectors and the many stories of pain and destruction that they hold.
Dreams of riders like George Hincapie and Johan Museeuw have ended in tears along the roadside, but the risks make victory in the velodrome that much sweeter. After 260 kilometres, around 50 on pavé, the race ends with one and a half laps on Roubaix's outdoor track.
Win in Roubaix, the third of the Monuments, and you are considered a god. Riders like Fausto Coppi, Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser, Sean Kelly and Tom Boonen have tamed Paris-Roubaix's pavé for the well-earned status.
In 2012 Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) rode into the record books with a dominant solo victory. The 31-year-old Belgian rode the final 52km alone to win by 1:39 over a five-man chase group. With the victory Boonen equals Roger De Vlaeminck's all-time win record of four victories in the Hell of the North, and for the second time in Boonen's career he claimed the Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix double in the same season.
Fabian Cancellara says:"I have many beautiful memories of this race. I know how to adapt to this race, and I like the challenges it poses from a technical point of view but you need the luck. Sometimes it’s like an individual time trial though and along with luck you need to be smart."