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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