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Vansummeren: No one had a chance against Boonen in Paris-Roubaix

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Defending champion Johan Vansummeren finished in 9th place.

Defending champion Johan Vansummeren finished in 9th place.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Defending Paris-Roubaix champion Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) in the Roubaix velodrome en route to a 9th place finish

Defending Paris-Roubaix champion Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) in the Roubaix velodrome en route to a 9th place finish
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Defending champion Johan Vansummeren makes his way to the start line

Defending champion Johan Vansummeren makes his way to the start line
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Ballan and Vansummeren shake hands at the start of Paris-Roubaix

Ballan and Vansummeren shake hands at the start of Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) leads his team

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) leads his team
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

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.”