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Video: Tom Boonen on why Paris-Roubaix is a slow killer

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Tom Boonen outsprinted George Hincapie and Juan Antion Flecha to win the first of his four Paris-Rouabix's

Tom Boonen outsprinted George Hincapie and Juan Antion Flecha to win the first of his four Paris-Rouabix's
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Third time's the charm for Tom Boonen in 2009

Third time's the charm for Tom Boonen in 2009
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Runner-up and former teammate Pippo Pozzato congratulates Tom Boonen after his 2009 triumph

Runner-up and former teammate Pippo Pozzato congratulates Tom Boonen after his 2009 triumph
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen on the attack in 2009

Tom Boonen on the attack in 2009
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Top step in 2009

Top step in 2009
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen celebrates going back-to-back in 2009 while Pippo Pozzato and Thor Hushovd's faces say it all

Tom Boonen celebrates going back-to-back in 2009 while Pippo Pozzato and Thor Hushovd's faces say it all
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen had plenty of time to celebrate his fourth Paris-Roubaix win in 2012

Tom Boonen had plenty of time to celebrate his fourth Paris-Roubaix win in 2012
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen kisses the cobble for a record equalling fourth time

Tom Boonen kisses the cobble for a record equalling fourth time
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen's 2012 margin of victory was over a minute and a half to second place

Tom Boonen's 2012 margin of victory was over a minute and a half to second place
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen celebrates his 2012 win with brother Sven a week after winning the Tour of Flanders

Tom Boonen celebrates his 2012 win with brother Sven a week after winning the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A third win for Tom Boonen in 2009

A third win for Tom Boonen in 2009
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabian Cancellara congratulates Tom Boonen after his 2008 victory

Fabian Cancellara congratulates Tom Boonen after his 2008 victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ballons for the 2008 champion

Ballons for the 2008 champion
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen proudly shows off his first Paris-Roubaix cobble in 2005

Tom Boonen proudly shows off his first Paris-Roubaix cobble in 2005
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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George Hincapie and Juan Antiono Flecha join Tom Boonen on the podium in 2005

George Hincapie and Juan Antiono Flecha join Tom Boonen on the podium in 2005
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2005 Paris-Roubaix podium

The 2005 Paris-Roubaix podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen wins his first Paris-Roubaix in 2005 having won the Tour of Flanders a week earlier

Tom Boonen wins his first Paris-Roubaix in 2005 having won the Tour of Flanders a week earlier
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Yes! Tom Boonen over the moon to win in 2008

Yes! Tom Boonen over the moon to win in 2008
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2008 Paris-Roubiax champion Tom Boonen kisses the cobble as balloons fly off into the sky

2008 Paris-Roubiax champion Tom Boonen kisses the cobble as balloons fly off into the sky
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen easily out sprinted Fabian Cancellara and Alessandro Ballan to take the 2008 Paris-Roubiax

Tom Boonen easily out sprinted Fabian Cancellara and Alessandro Ballan to take the 2008 Paris-Roubiax
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Two-time winner after his 2008 victory, Tom Boonen

Two-time winner after his 2008 victory, Tom Boonen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen and Alessandro Ballan make up the 2008 podium

Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen and Alessandro Ballan make up the 2008 podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen rode the final 53km of the 2012 Paris-Roubaix to seal a fourth victory

Tom Boonen rode the final 53km of the 2012 Paris-Roubaix to seal a fourth victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) may not be able to try for a fifth victory in Paris-Roubaix, because of a shoulder injury caused by a crash last month in Paris-Nice, but Cyclingnews was able to get his impressions of the race and what it takes to win. 

Boonen describes Paris-Roubaix as a slow killer, a race that gradually saps all a rider's power until there's nothing left.The first part of the race is very nervous, with riders taking enormous risks to hold position, but after the Arenberg Forest, the cream rises to the top and the real tactics of the race play out.

"On the cobblestone sections, you have all these guys trying to pass you for God knows why. They want to pass you and fight with you, and then 5km later they're dropped. You have to take these chances, sometimes it goes OK, sometimes it doesn't," Boonen says of those nervous first 100km. "[After] the first big selection is made, you're more relaxed and can count more on your own strengths."

Boonen is an expert, knowing how to read the race, attacking early or late, as the tactics deem necessary. Which successful strategy was his favourite? You'll have to watch to the end of the video below.

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