The northern classics came to a spectacular finish on Sunday with Johan Van Summeren's gutsy victory in Roubaix. The Belgian's win capped one of the most unpredictable classics seasons in recent memory. It's easy to forget about the races earlier in the season, like CJ Sutton's win at Kuurne Brussel-Kuurne, or Fabian ‘Spartacus' Cancellara's powerful display finishing alone at E3 Prijs Vlaanderen.
Fortunately, we've put together a gallery of some of the best moments captured on film during the 2011 cobbled racing season; we've tried to capture the highs – and the lows.
E3 was threatened by strikes over race radios, but will be remembered for a strong, early season performance from Cancellara.
Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne was won by Chris Sutton but he was only given the chance to sprint when the Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen felt ill late in the race.
Tom Boonen was not going to leave the classics season empty-handed with a lunge for the line at Gent-Wevelgem, and who could forget the strength on show at Flanders? Philippe Gilbert, Sylvain Chavanel, Nick Nuyens and that man again, Cancellara lit up one of the most explosive editions of the Ronde.
The hell of the north offered a fitting finale to the season, as super-domestique Johan Van Summeren rode to the biggest win of his career in the velodrome at Roubaix and capped it off by proposing to his long-term girlfriend.
Alex Hinds, Production Editor
Alex Hinds is a graduate of Economics and Political Science from Sydney University. Growing up in the metropolitan area of the city he quickly became a bike junkie, dabbling in mountain and road riding. Alex raced on the road in his late teens, but with the time demands of work and university proving too much, decided not to further pursue full-time riding.
If he was going to be involved in cycling in another way the media seemed the next best bet and jumped at the opportunity to work in the Sydney office of Cyclingnews when an offer arose in early 2011.
Though the WorldTour is of course a huge point of focus throughout the year, Alex also takes a keen interest in the domestic racing scene with a view to helping foster the careers of the next generation of cycling.
When not writing for Cyclingnews Alex is a strong proponent of the awareness of cyclists on the road in Sydney having had a few close run-ins with city traffic in the past.
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