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The mean machine takes first Roubaix win for CSC

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Fabian Cancellara (CSC)

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) (Image credit: AFP)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC)

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) (Image credit: AFP)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC)

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The peloton in action

The peloton in action (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC)

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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A distraught George Hincapie (Discovery)

A distraught George Hincapie (Discovery) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC)

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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much for shade}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af4\afs24 \ltrch\fcs0 \f4\fs24\insrsid16472297 \hich\af4\dbch\af31505\loch\f4 at the race circuit}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af4\afs24 \ltrch\fcs0 \f4\fs24\insrsid16472297 .

much for shade}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af4\afs24 \ltrch\fcs0 \f4\fs24\insrsid16472297 \hich\af4\dbch\af31505\loch\f4 at the race circuit}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af4\afs24 \ltrch\fcs0 \f4\fs24\insrsid16472297 . (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen with Ballan and Flecha after being delayed by a train crossing with 10km to go. Hoste, Van Petegem and Gussev went through and were disqualified.

Tom Boonen with Ballan and Flecha after being delayed by a train crossing with 10km to go. Hoste, Van Petegem and Gussev went through and were disqualified. (Image credit: AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) takes the biggest win of his career

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) takes the biggest win of his career (Image credit: AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) wins the 104th Paris-Roubaix

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) wins the 104th Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) celebrates his win

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) celebrates his win (Image credit: AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) savours victory

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) savours victory (Image credit: AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) after winning Paris-Roubaix

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) after winning Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) surrounded by CSC staff

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) surrounded by CSC staff (Image credit: AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) is congratulated by team director Scott Sunderland in the velodrome

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) is congratulated by team director Scott Sunderland in the velodrome (Image credit: AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) is congratulated by team director Scott Sunderland in the velodrome

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) is congratulated by team director Scott Sunderland in the velodrome (Image credit: AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
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The start in Compiegne

The start in Compiegne (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The peloton in action on a section of cobbles

The peloton in action on a section of cobbles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The bunch passes over one section of cobbles

The bunch passes over one section of cobbles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The colours of the peloton through the green fields

The colours of the peloton through the green fields (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) in action

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) in action (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Powering away through the spectators

Powering away through the spectators (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Anyone got a bike?

Anyone got a bike? (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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George Hincapie (Discovery) looking good

George Hincapie (Discovery) looking good (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Klier with Cooke and Franzoi

Klier with Cooke and Franzoi (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Schreck leads Portal, Posthuma and Konyshev

Schreck leads Portal, Posthuma and Konyshev (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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On a downhill sector of cobbles

On a downhill sector of cobbles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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A long line across the cobbles

A long line across the cobbles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Quick.Step on the front

Quick.Step on the front (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Dust and cobbles

Dust and cobbles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Here comes the pack

Here comes the pack (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The crowd is ready at the La Forêt d'Arenberg

The crowd is ready at the La Forêt d'Arenberg (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) in the Forest

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) in the Forest (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) leads the way as the break splits from the bunch

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) leads the way as the break splits from the bunch (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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An amazing scene in the La Forêt d'Arenberg

An amazing scene in the La Forêt d'Arenberg (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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George Hincapie (Discovery) powers through Arenberg

George Hincapie (Discovery) powers through Arenberg (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) through Arenberg

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) through Arenberg (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Leif Hoste (Discovery) exits Arenberg

Leif Hoste (Discovery) exits Arenberg (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) and Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) all smiles

Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) and Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) all smiles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) leads the peloton

Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) leads the peloton (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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A very scenic view of the bunch

A very scenic view of the bunch (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) attacks the cobbles with Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC) on his wheel

Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) attacks the cobbles with Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC) on his wheel (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC) in the break

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC) in the break (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon Lotto) leads Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank)

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon Lotto) leads Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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George Hincapie (Discovery) doesn't have much luck at all today

George Hincapie (Discovery) doesn't have much luck at all today (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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A distraught George Hincapie (Discovery) also looks to be in pain

A distraught George Hincapie (Discovery) also looks to be in pain (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) rides the gutter along this section of cobbles

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) rides the gutter along this section of cobbles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) leads Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC) around a corner on the cobbles

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) leads Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC) around a corner on the cobbles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon Lotto) leads a chase group of three in the final part of the race

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon Lotto) leads a chase group of three in the final part of the race (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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George Hincapie (Discovery) before a broken fork put him out of the race

George Hincapie (Discovery) before a broken fork put him out of the race (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) concentrates hard as he leads the group on the cobbles

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) concentrates hard as he leads the group on the cobbles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) looked comfortable on the cobbles

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) looked comfortable on the cobbles (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) bridges to Vladimir Gusev (Discovery)

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) bridges to Vladimir Gusev (Discovery) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) makes his solo move

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) makes his solo move (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) worked hard all day

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) worked hard all day (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) drives for home on the velodrome

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) drives for home on the velodrome (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) gets one lap to go

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) gets one lap to go (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) looked so smooth till the end

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) looked so smooth till the end (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) rides his final lap to victory

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) rides his final lap to victory (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) was able to celebrate his win for some time

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) was able to celebrate his win for some time (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) sends a kiss to everyone

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) sends a kiss to everyone (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) looks exhaustedly happy

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) looks exhaustedly happy (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Gusev, Van Petegem and Hoste circle the track

Gusev, Van Petegem and Hoste circle the track (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Gusev leads out with Van Petegem following

Gusev leads out with Van Petegem following (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Flecha, Boonen and Ballan get ready for their sprint

Flecha, Boonen and Ballan get ready for their sprint (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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A sprint for second place that turned out to be for nothing

A sprint for second place that turned out to be for nothing (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Boonen gets ready to pounce

Boonen gets ready to pounce (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) sprints for 5th, which ends up being second

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) sprints for 5th, which ends up being second (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) after finishing third

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) after finishing third (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The bunch on the track

The bunch on the track (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Not far to go for these riders

Not far to go for these riders (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) surrounded

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) surrounded (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) surrounded by the media

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) surrounded by the media (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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A very emotional Fabian Cancellara (CSC)

A very emotional Fabian Cancellara (CSC) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) after a tough race

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) after a tough race (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) can't keep the grin off his face

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) can't keep the grin off his face (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) smiles to the crowd

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) smiles to the crowd (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen with Freddy Maertens

Tom Boonen with Freddy Maertens (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) atop the podium

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) atop the podium (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Just don't drop it

Just don't drop it (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) lifts the stone

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) lifts the stone (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) thinks this will go well on the mantlepiece

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) thinks this will go well on the mantlepiece (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon Lotto)

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon Lotto) (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) at the start hopes to make a good race.

Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) at the start hopes to make a good race. (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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It's the first participation for Benoit Sinner (Agritubel)

It's the first participation for Benoit Sinner (Agritubel) (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone)

Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone) (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) controls his bike

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) controls his bike (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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The big fans of Marcus Burghardt are on the start in Compiègne.

The big fans of Marcus Burghardt are on the start in Compiègne. (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole)

Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Servais Knaven (Quick Step-Innergetic) ex-winner of Paris-Roubaix

Servais Knaven (Quick Step-Innergetic) ex-winner of Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux) was one of the french hopes for this race.

Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux) was one of the french hopes for this race. (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile Team)

Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile Team) (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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The AG2R team on the start

The AG2R team on the start (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Innergetic) is the big star of the day

Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Innergetic) is the big star of the day (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Innergetic) answers the press

Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Innergetic) answers the press (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Innergetic) for a second win???

Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Innergetic) for a second win??? (Image credit: Régis Garnier)
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Cancellara arriving in the Vélodrome

Cancellara arriving in the Vélodrome (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Cancellara enjoys the applause

Cancellara enjoys the applause (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) had time to enjoy his last lap

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) had time to enjoy his last lap (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Van Petegem, Gusev and Hoste get ready for their sprint

Van Petegem, Gusev and Hoste get ready for their sprint (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Flecha, Boonen and Ballan riding their last lap

Flecha, Boonen and Ballan riding their last lap (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Gusev had a great race but got disqualified

Gusev had a great race but got disqualified (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Hoste was very disappointed about the disqualification

Hoste was very disappointed about the disqualification (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Lars Michaelsen did a great job in support for Fabian Cancellara

Lars Michaelsen did a great job in support for Fabian Cancellara (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Aart Vierhouten finished 16th, his best result ever

Aart Vierhouten finished 16th, his best result ever (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) on stage and on screen

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) on stage and on screen (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) is very happy

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) is very happy (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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The showers in Roubaix

The showers in Roubaix (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) wipes away the dust

Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) wipes away the dust (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) enjoys the shower

Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) enjoys the shower (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Christophe Agnolutto (Agritubel) had seen dust

Christophe Agnolutto (Agritubel) had seen dust (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Jimmy Casper (Cofidis) needs a shower

Jimmy Casper (Cofidis) needs a shower (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Paul Martens (Skil-Shimano) could use some washing up

Paul Martens (Skil-Shimano) could use some washing up (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Lars Michaelsen (CSC) getting ready for a shower, Aart Vierhouten is ready

Lars Michaelsen (CSC) getting ready for a shower, Aart Vierhouten is ready (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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The UCI officials don't listen to Davitamon's complaints (Coucke and Sergeant)

The UCI officials don't listen to Davitamon's complaints (Coucke and Sergeant) (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)
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Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon Lotto) after learning of his DQ

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon Lotto) after learning of his DQ (Image credit: Hedwig Kröner/Cyclingnews.com)
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Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) towels down

Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) towels down (Image credit: Hedwig Kröner/Cyclingnews.com)
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Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile Team) comes around the bend

Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile Team) comes around the bend (Image credit: Hedwig Kröner/Cyclingnews.com)
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Lars Michaelsen (CSC) played an important role

Lars Michaelsen (CSC) played an important role (Image credit: Hedwig Kröner/Cyclingnews.com)
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JP Nazon (AG2R) recovering

JP Nazon (AG2R) recovering (Image credit: Hedwig Kröner/Cyclingnews.com)
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Allan Johansen (CSC) shows the grime of Roubaix

Allan Johansen (CSC) shows the grime of Roubaix (Image credit: Hedwig Kröner/Cyclingnews.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC) interviewed post-race

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) interviewed post-race (Image credit: Hedwig Kröner/Cyclingnews.com)
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Dutch Skil Shimano at the presentation of Paris-Roubaix in Compiegne, with the first Japanese rider Masahiro Shinagawa.

Dutch Skil Shimano at the presentation of Paris-Roubaix in Compiegne, with the first Japanese rider Masahiro Shinagawa. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Daniel Mangeas introduces Masahiro Shinagawa (Skil Shimano) at the sign on

Daniel Mangeas introduces Masahiro Shinagawa (Skil Shimano) at the sign on (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Masahiro Shinagawa (Skil Shimano) is interviewed by an AFP journalist before the start.

Masahiro Shinagawa (Skil Shimano) is interviewed by an AFP journalist before the start. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Jacky Durand: 'Is he the first Japanese rider in Paris-Roubaix?'

Jacky Durand: 'Is he the first Japanese rider in Paris-Roubaix?' (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Masahiro Shinagawa (Skil Shimano) smiles with his Dutch teammate Piet Rooijakkers before the start in Compiegne.

Masahiro Shinagawa (Skil Shimano) smiles with his Dutch teammate Piet Rooijakkers before the start in Compiegne. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Team CSC's Scott Sunderland is interviewed by TV before the start.

Team CSC's Scott Sunderland is interviewed by TV before the start. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Two ex-riders meet in Compiegne: Johan Museeuw and Marty Jemison.

Two ex-riders meet in Compiegne: Johan Museeuw and Marty Jemison. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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World Champion Tom Boonen (Quick.Step-Innergetic) just after the finish in Roubaix.

World Champion Tom Boonen (Quick.Step-Innergetic) just after the finish in Roubaix. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) is treated by a soigneur in Roubaix.

Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) is treated by a soigneur in Roubaix. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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French hero Nicolas Portal (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears) in Roubaix.

French hero Nicolas Portal (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears) in Roubaix. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis) finished 10th in Roubaix.

Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis) finished 10th in Roubaix. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Christophe Mengin (Francaise des Jeux) has special treatment for Pavé.

Christophe Mengin (Francaise des Jeux) has special treatment for Pavé. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Bitter ending for Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel).

Bitter ending for Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel). (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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How does Vladimir Gusev (Discovery Channel) feel in Roubaix?

How does Vladimir Gusev (Discovery Channel) feel in Roubaix? (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) realises the ending of the hell.

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) realises the ending of the hell. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Australian Gene Bates (Team L.P.R.) injures his left hand at the crash.

Australian Gene Bates (Team L.P.R.) injures his left hand at the crash. (Image credit: Junko & Miwako Sasaki)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) looking happy as larry and relaxed as a cumcumber.

Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) looking happy as larry and relaxed as a cumcumber. (Image credit: Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com)
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A few minutes to go before kick off... damn there's some nerves in the air.

A few minutes to go before kick off... damn there's some nerves in the air. (Image credit: Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com)
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"Hi Mum!" Mark Renshaw told Cyclingnews his parents were going to stay up all night to 'watch' their son race Roubaix by following the our live coverage of the event.

"Hi Mum!" Mark Renshaw told Cyclingnews his parents were going to stay up all night to 'watch' their son race Roubaix by following the our live coverage of the event. (Image credit: Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) rarely fails to refuse an interview, even less than five minutes before the start.

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) rarely fails to refuse an interview, even less than five minutes before the start. (Image credit: Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 144 of 173

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) knows his racing days ain't over yet, and showed it today.

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) knows his racing days ain't over yet, and showed it today. (Image credit: Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com)
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Au revoir, peloton - the riders trickle out of Compiegne before a meeting in "Hell".

Au revoir, peloton - the riders trickle out of Compiegne before a meeting in "Hell". (Image credit: Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com)
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Masahiro Shinagawa (Skil-Shimano)

Masahiro Shinagawa (Skil-Shimano) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
Image 147 of 173

Maarten Tjallingii (Skil-Shimano)

Maarten Tjallingii (Skil-Shimano) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
Image 148 of 173

Nico Mattan (Davitamon-Lotto) smiles at the start

Nico Mattan (Davitamon-Lotto) smiles at the start (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
Image 149 of 173

Oh dear. Problems for Saunier Duval

Oh dear. Problems for Saunier Duval (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Alessandro Ballan (Lampre)

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank)

Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Marc Wauters (Rabobank)

Marc Wauters (Rabobank) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne)

Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Kevin Hulsmans (Quick.Step) running late

Kevin Hulsmans (Quick.Step) running late (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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There they go

There they go (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Michael Rich (Gerolsteiner)

Michael Rich (Gerolsteiner) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto)

Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Wim Vansevenant (Davitamon-Lotto)

Wim Vansevenant (Davitamon-Lotto) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Alessandro Ballan (Lampre)

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) where are you?

Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) where are you? (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Fabian Cancellara (CSC)

Fabian Cancellara (CSC) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Baden Cooke (Unibet.com)

Baden Cooke (Unibet.com) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Wilfried Cretskens (Quick.Step) comes into view

Wilfried Cretskens (Quick.Step) comes into view (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne)

Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Matt White shakes hands with Garcia Acosta

Matt White shakes hands with Garcia Acosta (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Leif Hoste (Discovery)

Leif Hoste (Discovery) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole)

Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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David Kopp (Gerolsteiner)

David Kopp (Gerolsteiner) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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David Kopp and Frank Hoj (Gerolsteiner)

David Kopp and Frank Hoj (Gerolsteiner) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Some folklore at the start

Some folklore at the start (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The start of the 104th Paris-Roubaix

The start of the 104th Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The start of the 104th Paris-Roubaix

The start of the 104th Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Riders gather round before the start in Compiègne.

Riders gather round before the start in Compiègne. (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com)

104th Paris-Roubaix - PT

France, April 9, 2006

ProTour standings

Boonen finally beaten; Hincapie's hopes snap with steerer tube

An outstanding time triallist got the better of all other favourites at Paris-Roubaix today: After an attack placed at the right moment, Fabian Cancellara beat his fellow favourites in one impressive final solo effort. With 19 kilometres to go, the tall Swiss shattered the World Champion's hopes of a 'double triple', and everybody else's, too.

In a chaotic finale, three riders were disqualified for a 'race incident' - a railway crossing, which later blocked Tom Boonen et al., had already turned to red lights as the two Discovery riders Hoste and Gusev, as well as Davitamon's Van Petegem crossed it. And Discovery's George Hincapie received the worst fate of all: his steerer tube snapped with 45 kilometres to go, and the American ended up on the side of the road, unhurt but crying as he saw the lead group drive away.

"I'm so happy, I can't find the words to describe it," said Cancellara after the podium celebration, carrying the famous Paris-Roubaix cobble in his hands, and barely able to keep his eyes dry. "The last time I felt this way was when I won the Tour de France prologue, but I can't find the words. I believed in myself from the start, and I think I was probably the best rider here today. I felt that the others were in difficulty, so I waited for the right moment to attack - Gusev was in my wheel though, and I knew I had to shake him off it to get to the velodrome on my own. I want to give a big thanks to my team; it wouldn't have been possible to win without them."

Team director Scott Sunderland was also very emotional, as he told Cyclingnews. "I told him to wait a little bit longer but he wanted to go for it, so I said OK. Sometimes you can't hold him back - you feel it as a rider, too; you can't always make your DS happy, you have to go with your gut feeling, too. He's got a great feeling for the race itself."

What should have been Quick.Step's masterpiece started with a hiccup: the World Champion was isolated after the first big selection was made in the Arenberg forest. While Discovery had three riders in the front group, and other squads were also present with two riders each, Boonen found himself alone in the leading group. At first, Quick.Step DS Wilfried Peeters ordered his riders to chase back on to the leaders around Boonen, but after talking to last year's winner on the batphone, the Belgian team changed its mind.

"It could have been the same for us," Sunderland commented. "We were lucky to have Lars there too, and Discovery had three there, before they unfortunately lost Hincapie. The more teammates you got, the more help you have, so yes, maybe they lost the race there."

Tom Boonen ended up second, thanks to the disqualifications, but said, "I'm not happy with it. It was not deserved, I was dropped. I wasn't as super as I was last week in the Ronde, but good enough to win. I spent too much energy unnecessarily. I nearly crashed and felt cramp after that. I'm choked with dust. It was stressful all the time.

"I'm not disappointed: It's good that everyone realises that I'm not a robot. Losing can be a better lesson than winning."

Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel) was definitely not happy with the commissaires' decision to disqualify him. "This is ridiculous. They had 15 km to tell us, but no-one did that. The crossing closed just before we got there. They should have said something to us in the race, but not after. It's definitely against the sprit of the race. What can you do? Protest against the UCI? I don't think that it will do anything."

When asked about the disqualification of his riders, Johan Bruyneel (Discovery) told Cyclingnews afterwards, "I don't know what happened as I didn't see it. But it's definitely unacceptable for a race like Paris-Roubaix to be decided on a railway crossing. There should be enough parcours alternatives for the finale. A race like Paris-Roubaix doesn't deserve (an incident like that). It's unacceptable in professional sport."

A spokesman for organisers ASO admitted to Cyclingnews that, "It's an unpredictable accident de la course. The race was 15 minutes ahead of schedule and usually, we plan the route by considering the train schedule. But it was unpredicted that the race would be so fast."

How it unfolded

194 riders left the confines of Compiegne at 10:50am, under sunny skies and moderate winds blowing from the northwest - conditions that would accompany them all the way to Roubaix. Thierry Marichal (Cofidis) didn't start, suffering from stomach problems. Earlier in the morning, 29 riders from Liquigas, Gerolsteiner, Team LPR and Saunier Duval were blood tested, with all being declared fit to start.

As usual, it was a fast getaway and Marc De Maar (Rabobank) and Tristan Valentin (Cofidis) had the honours of initiating the attacks after 17 km, followed by Stephan Schreck (T-Mobile). But everything came to naught with a healthy 47.1 km covered in the first hour. The problems for Discovery Channel began early with George Hincapie crashing after 31 km. He returned to the peloton, shaken more than anything else, but it was not to be his day.

The break that stuck eventually came after 62 km, when Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), Nicolas Portal (Caisse d'Epargne), Stephan Schreck (T-Mobile) and Dmitri Konyshev (LPR) accelerated away, building a lead of 20 seconds. After 85 km, a chase group formed with Marco Righetto (Liquigas), Stephane Berges (Agritubel) and Iker Flores, who trailed the four leaders by 50 seconds through Busigny.

By the time the race reached the first of 27 sectors of pavé at Troisvilles (km 97), the four leaders had 1'20 on the three chasers and 2'05 on the bunch. Frank Hoj (Gerolsteiner) attacked the peloton and managed to bridge up as far as the chase group, but got no further. At the halfway point (km 130), the gap between the peloton and the lead break was up to 4'48, before T-Mobile, Discovery, Davitamon and Quick.Step began to work to close it down. But Davitamon lost one rider when Tom Steels crashed and broke his collarbone after clipping De Jongh's wheel after 127 km.

The inevitable race for position before the Arenberg Forest (km 163) started, and that spelled doom for the four chasers and also cut down the leaders' advantage rapidly. In front, Portal crashed on a sharp right hander and had to chase back on, while in the peloton, Sebastian Minard (Cofidis) crashed in exactly the same place. Gent-Wevelgem winner Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) was also having problems, puncturing twice and taking himself out of contention.

Quick.Step in particular made the most out of the race to the Arenberg, but maybe gambled too much on Tom Boonen. By the time the bunch reached the Forest, it was less than a minute behind the four leaders. Tom Boonen led the way onto the feared 2.4 km sector, with Hincapie, Steegmans and Cancellara all well placed. Then the CSC man took over and he was first to sweep by Posthuma, Schreck and Portal.

By the end of the sector, the damage had been done and 17 riders were left in front: Van Petegem, Steegmans (Davitamon), Hincapie, Gusev, Hoste (Discovery), Cancellara, Michaelsen (CSC), Boonen (Quick.Step), Wesemann, Schreck (T-Mobile), Guesdon, Eisel (FDJ), Posthuma, Flecha (Rabobank), Portal (Caisse d'Epargne), Ballan, Franzoi (Lampre). Boonen was surprisingly alone, and although his Quick.Step teammates mounted a serious chase behind to try to get Pozzato up front, it was to no avail, and the captain was left to fend for himself.

Early breakaways Schreck and Posthuma were the first to be dropped from the lead group, then Franzoi, and then Portal yo-yoed off the back on every cobbled section before eventually losing the group. In front, Flecha was particularly aggressive, putting in numerous accelerations on the cobbles to try to tire the others out.

Lars Michaelsen did a ton of work for his team leader Cancellara over many of the next sectors of cobbles, while Boonen looked to be riding a smart race and was never out of the top six. Discovery was the only team with three up front: Hincapie, Hoste and Gusev, and the cards were definitely in their favour for a while.

On sector 11 with 57 km to go, Flecha put in a strong acceleration that succeeded in gapping Wesemann and Steegmans, who were fraying at the edges. On the 3 km sector 10 at Mons-en-Pévèle (km 47), Cancellara attacked, causing more pain behind. Then came the disaster for Discovery: George Hincapie's aluminium steerer tube broke and he was left riding rudderless on the cobbles. He crashed on his right side, and although comparatively unhurt, had to watch the race go away without him. His Paris-Roubaix dream was over for another year.

There was no waiting around either. Flecha and Boonen upped the tempo, before Cancellara, Ballan and Van Petegem reacted. At the end of the sector, Flecha was off the back with Hoste, Gusev and Eisel, chasing the other four. They were able to return just after sector 9, and there were eight leaders: Van Petegem (Davitamon), Cancellara (CSC), Ballan (Lampre), Boonen (Quick.Step), Gusev, Hoste (Discovery), Flecha (Rabobank) and Eisel (FDJ).

On the pave at Cysoing (km 230), Gusev tumbled on a corner, bringing Ballan down as well. Both riders were able to rejoin the break, although Gusev took the longest time to do so. He managed it just before Camphin-en Pévèle (sector 5, km 239), and straight away took the lead. The others let him go, but Cancellara saw his chance and powered across to the Russian, the pair opening up a 10 second gap at the end of the cobbles.

Cancellara kept powering in front as he reached the Carrefour de l'Arbre, and with a strong ride on the sharp cobbles, he dropped Gusev for good. The break had split behind with Hoste and Van Petegem joining Gusev, and Boonen, Flecha and Ballan chasing another 10 seconds behind. Cancellara was now on his own and headed for victory, with his main opponent being possible misfortune.

The Swiss was lucky today though: he reached a train crossing at 10 km to go with a 30 second lead over the three chasers. But when they got there, the barriers had already come down to signal a train coming. They ducked through them and continued chasing, losing 10 seconds, but ultimately their positions in the race after the commissaires disqualified them. Boonen's group had to wait anyway, as the train was already upon them, but technically they went through when the barriers were lowered too - albeit after the train had passed.

It was clear at this stage that Cancellara wasn't going to be caught. He pushed his advantage even more - out to a minute - over the final 10 km, and entered the hallowed Roubaix velodrome to a huge cheer with enough time to celebrate as he did his one and a half laps of the track. He finished even before the next trio came in, and was already savouring the biggest win of his life in the centre of the velodrome when Hoste beat Van Petegem for second, with Gusev taking fourth. Boonen comfortably won his group sprint for fifth ahead of Ballan and Flecha, but had no idea that the positions would change later.

Less than 10 minutes after the race, the judges' decision became known: Hoste, Van Petegem and Gusev were all disqualified for running the barrier, meaning that Boonen was elevated to second and Ballan third. None of them were particularly happy with the outcome, but that didn't take anything away from Fabian Cancellara, who was by far the best man in the race today.

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