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Cancellara crowned king of the cobbled Classics

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The late Franco Ballerini is honored on the Paris-Rouxbaix start line.

The late Franco Ballerini is honored on the Paris-Rouxbaix start line.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Danilo Hondo (Lampre - Farnese Vini) comes to grief.

Danilo Hondo (Lampre - Farnese Vini) comes to grief.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The peloton races through the Arenberg forest.

The peloton races through the Arenberg forest.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Greg Henderson (Sky)

Greg Henderson (Sky)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Servais Knaven (Milram) cleans up after Paris-Rouxbaix.

Servais Knaven (Milram) cleans up after Paris-Rouxbaix.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) is sidelined with a broken rear derailleur.

Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) is sidelined with a broken rear derailleur.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sky teammates Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Juan Antonio Flecha await the start.

Sky teammates Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Juan Antonio Flecha await the start.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides alone to an enormous victory.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides alone to an enormous victory.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) in the Roubaix velodrome.

Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) in the Roubaix velodrome.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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American champion George Hincapie (BMC) on the cobbles.

American champion George Hincapie (BMC) on the cobbles.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Roger Hammond (Cervelo TestTeam) finished fourth.

Roger Hammond (Cervelo TestTeam) finished fourth.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides to a Paris-Roubaix win inside the famous velodrome.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides to a Paris-Roubaix win inside the famous velodrome.
(Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)
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Race winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).

Race winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Italian champion Filippo Pozzato wins the special award to the first Italian finisher in memory of Franco Ballerini.

Italian champion Filippo Pozzato wins the special award to the first Italian finisher in memory of Franco Ballerini.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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An exhausted Fabian Cancellara after winning Paris-Roubaix for the second time.

An exhausted Fabian Cancellara after winning Paris-Roubaix for the second time.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) is congratulated by third place finisher Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky).

Winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) is congratulated by third place finisher Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky).
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step)

Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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George Hincapie (BMC)

George Hincapie (BMC)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabian Cancellara and Bjarne Riis after the Swiss rider's Paris-Roubaix win.

Fabian Cancellara and Bjarne Riis after the Swiss rider's Paris-Roubaix win.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) en route to a 6th place finish.

Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) en route to a 6th place finish.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A trio of national champions on the Paris Roubaix start line (l-r): Tom Boonen, Filippo Pozzato and Fabian Cancellara.

A trio of national champions on the Paris Roubaix start line (l-r): Tom Boonen, Filippo Pozzato and Fabian Cancellara.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Huge crowds were on hand to take in Paris-Roubaix.

Huge crowds were on hand to take in Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The first big group comes around the banking inside the Roubaix velodrome.

The first big group comes around the banking inside the Roubaix velodrome.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Stijn Devolder finishes

Stijn Devolder finishes
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) finishes a long day in the saddle

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) finishes a long day in the saddle
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) finishes just ahead of Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)

Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) finishes just ahead of Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) leads Thor Hushovd (Cervelo)

Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) leads Thor Hushovd (Cervelo)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) sits up after a long, hard effort.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) sits up after a long, hard effort.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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A happy Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

A happy Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) celebrates his win

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) celebrates his win
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides away from the others.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides away from the others.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Fans cheer on Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

Fans cheer on Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Jasper Stuyven, Thor Hushovd, Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato, Juan Antonio Flecha, Gilbert Duclos Lasalle

Jasper Stuyven, Thor Hushovd, Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato, Juan Antonio Flecha, Gilbert Duclos Lasalle
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Podium: Thor Hushovd, Fabian Cancellara, Juan Antonio Flecha

Podium: Thor Hushovd, Fabian Cancellara, Juan Antonio Flecha
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) is congratulated by Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) is congratulated by Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) with his cobblestone trophy

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) with his cobblestone trophy
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) kisses his cobblestone trophy

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) kisses his cobblestone trophy
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) sprints around a corner ahead of Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil)

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) sprints around a corner ahead of Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The peloton in a dusty section of cobbles

The peloton in a dusty section of cobbles
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Roger Hammond (Cervelo TestTeam) is both exhausted and happy with his fourth place finish.

Roger Hammond (Cervelo TestTeam) is both exhausted and happy with his fourth place finish.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Team RadioShack's top finisher was Gregory Rast. Hayden Roulston (HTC-Columbia) got him in the end, though, to round out the top ten.

Team RadioShack's top finisher was Gregory Rast. Hayden Roulston (HTC-Columbia) got him in the end, though, to round out the top ten.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Sebastien Hinault (Ag2R-La Mondiale) comes in an impressive ninth.

Sebastien Hinault (Ag2R-La Mondiale) comes in an impressive ninth.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto) earns eighth place at this year's Paris-Roubaix.

Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto) earns eighth place at this year's Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) kisses his good luck charm before crossing the line.

Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) kisses his good luck charm before crossing the line.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) tries for fourth place but can't come around Roger Hammond (Cervelo TestTeam).

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) tries for fourth place but can't come around Roger Hammond (Cervelo TestTeam).
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) has to settle for 7th this year.

Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) has to settle for 7th this year.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team), Roger Hammond (Cervelo TestTeam), and Tom Boonen (Quick Step) size each other up before the final lap on the velodrome.

Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team), Roger Hammond (Cervelo TestTeam), and Tom Boonen (Quick Step) size each other up before the final lap on the velodrome.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) cruises in for second ahead of Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky).

Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) cruises in for second ahead of Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky).
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) came into the velodrome ahead of Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) but it wouldn't end up that way. Flecha opens the door…

Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) came into the velodrome ahead of Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) but it wouldn't end up that way. Flecha opens the door…
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) and Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) arrive together at the Roubaix velodrome.

Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) and Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) arrive together at the Roubaix velodrome.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Yup, that makes two for Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).

Yup, that makes two for Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) takes in the enormity of the moment before crossing the line.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) takes in the enormity of the moment before crossing the line.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) has enough time around the final corners to sit up and collect himself.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) has enough time around the final corners to sit up and collect himself.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) cruises down the home stretch on the Roubaix velodrome on his way to his second Paris-Roubaix victory.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) cruises down the home stretch on the Roubaix velodrome on his way to his second Paris-Roubaix victory.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Some wondered whether Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) had enough gas left in the tank after Ronde van Vlaanderen to repeat at Paris-Roubaix but he emphatically put that debate to rest on Sunday.

Some wondered whether Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) had enough gas left in the tank after Ronde van Vlaanderen to repeat at Paris-Roubaix but he emphatically put that debate to rest on Sunday.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) arrives at the Roubaix velodrome with plenty of time to celebrate.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) arrives at the Roubaix velodrome with plenty of time to celebrate.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) leads the favorites out of a section of cobbles.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) leads the favorites out of a section of cobbles.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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…and Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) goes right through.

…and Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) goes right through.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

Winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) wins Paris-Roubaix

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) wins Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) rode in black kit today.

Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) rode in black kit today.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) leads Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) across the line in the race for second.

Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) leads Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) across the line in the race for second.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) looks over his shoulder to check on Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)

Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) looks over his shoulder to check on Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) leads Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) around the velodrome

Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) leads Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) around the velodrome
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) raises his arms in celebration

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) raises his arms in celebration
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) wins Paris-Roubaix

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) wins Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: AFP)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Roger Hammond (Cervelo) leads Tom Boonen (Quick Step) across the line for fourth and fifth.

Roger Hammond (Cervelo) leads Tom Boonen (Quick Step) across the line for fourth and fifth.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) looks back, wondering if someone else might help with the pulling.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) looks back, wondering if someone else might help with the pulling.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha)

Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) inspects his trophy.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) inspects his trophy.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) holds up his cobbled trophy

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) holds up his cobbled trophy
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) on the podium

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) on the podium
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) finishes

Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) finishes
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) crosses the line.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) crosses the line.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) kisses his new cobblestone trophy.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) kisses his new cobblestone trophy.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Race leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) takes a drink

Race leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) takes a drink
(Image credit: AFP)
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Thor Hushovd (Cervelo test Team) looks back as he outsprints Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky), who claps as he crosses the line.

Thor Hushovd (Cervelo test Team) looks back as he outsprints Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky), who claps as he crosses the line.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) is mobbed by folks after he finishes.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) is mobbed by folks after he finishes.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: AFP)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) with the winner's trophy

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) with the winner's trophy
(Image credit: AFP)
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Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)

Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: AFP)
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The podium

The podium
(Image credit: AFP)
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Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) leads Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)

Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) leads Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) among the favorites

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) among the favorites
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (team Sky) in the favorites' group.

Juan Antonio Flecha (team Sky) in the favorites' group.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) on the cobbles

Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) on the cobbles
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides solo

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides solo
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The peloton on some dusty cobbles.

The peloton on some dusty cobbles.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The peloton

The peloton
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) leads Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil)

Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) leads Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) rides the cobbles

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) rides the cobbles
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) takes a turn pulling in his two-man group.

Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) takes a turn pulling in his two-man group.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) riding to a win

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) riding to a win
(Image credit: Sirotti)

Fabian Cancellara stamped his absolute authority on the 2010 Classics season as he claimed his second Paris-Roubaix title in France on Sunday afternoon. In a sublime display, the Swiss champion simply rode his rivals off his wheel near the Mons-en-Pévèle sector, with still more than 50 kilometres-to-go. A little over an hour later he rode solo into the velodrome at Roubaix.

The peloton had held a minutes silence at the start of the race in Compiegne to honour the memory of two-time winner Franco Ballerini. After securing his first Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix double, Cancellara paid his own homage to the man with whome he will now forever share the honour of multiple Roubaix titles.

"I wanted the double, I wanted to do something that left a mark in the history of cycling," said Cancellara after his win. "Many great riders have won this race and it’s an honour for me to now have won it twice like the late Franco Ballerini did. That's just one of the reasons why I wanted to do the double."

For the second week in a row, Cancellara was in a class of his own. The E3 Prijs-Harelbeke and Tour of Flanders Champion's race-winning surge gave way to a more than hour-long time trial, which, at points, saw him put three minutes into a select group of the best Classics riders on the planet.

"I hadn't planned to attack in that moment," said Cancellara, echoing his comments after Flanders a week prior. "But that's racing, it's important to seize the right moment and I got it exactly right. When I went, the gap was there and it was increasing, so I went full gas but with a little left just in case because there was a long way to go. But I made it."

Of those left in his wake, Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) and Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) proved the strongest as they rode clear of a six-man chase group on the Carrefour de l’Arbre sector of pavé to secure second and third.

Behind them, the chase group also fractured under the strain of almost 250 kilometres of racing. Hushovd's teammate Roger Hammond finished fourth, on the same time as pre-race favourite and defending Champion, Tom Boonen (Quick Step). Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) were the last to finish of the former six-man group.

There was a distinct sense of déjà vu as Cancellara stormed across the final 11 sectors alone. Despite a few bobbles on the uneven surface and one or two excursions onto the grass verges, his smooth style was reminiscent of a week earlier when he rode away from Boonen at the Tour of Flanders. However, he upped the ante this week to humble the men considered contenders in the lead-up to the weekend.

Overcome by emotion after crossing the finish line, the dust on Cancellara's face was broken by streams of tears as he embraced his wife and team management on the infield of the velodrome, which just moments before had erupted in celebration as he had swung left onto the track for his one-and-a-half laps of honour.

Cancellara became the first man in five years to claim both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix titles in the same season, Boonen the man to precede him, in 2005.

From Paris to the pavé

Some five hours earlier on a clear day in northern France, a large breakaway group had opened the first selection of the race. Nineteen riders featured in this leaders' group, including:

Romain Zingle (Cofidis), Maarten Wynants (Quick Step), Gorik Gardeyn (Vacansoleil), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo TestTeam), Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Chris Sutton and Gregory Henderson (Sky), Matthew Goss and Adam Hansen (HTC-Columbia), Rick Flens and Tom Leezer (Rabobank), Yohann Gene (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Mitchell Docker and Roy Curvers (Skil-Shimano), Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank), Stephane Poulhies and Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur Sojasun).

A strong head wind kept the race close to its slowest estimated time schedule, but upon reaching the first pavé sector after almost hundred kilometres of racing the gap to the leaders' had managed to carve out an advantage of more than four minutes. However, the arrival of the cobbles began the gradual grind on the leaders' advantage.

Despite the reduction in the gap, the lead group were still the first to enter the Arenberg forest (sector 17). Behind, Saxo Bank took the approach of the forest as their cue and increased the speed in the peloton - the gap on the leaders dropping below two minutes.

The Trouee Arenberg wasn't as slippery as it has been in previous editions and there much fewer crashes on the 2400 meters long pavé sector. However, it retained its ability to re-shape the race. Cancellara and Boonen led the peloton through the forest and by the time they appeared on the asphalt, the gap to the now nine remaining leaders was less than a minute.

Team Sky accelerated at sector 14 (Tilloy à Sars-et-Rosières – at 167km), causing several riders – among them David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) – to get dropped from the peloton.

After passing the second feed zone at 68 kilometers from the finish the last four breakaway riders – Wynants, Hansen, Hunt and Sutton - were caught back by the now 30-rider front peloton. Boonen laid down several accelerations in the ten kilometers that followed, but the Belgian Champion's attacks were easily neutralized by Cancellara and the other favourites.

"Boonen's attacks didn’t bother me and I didn't want to play his game. He tried to do his race and I did mine," said Cancellara afterwards of Boonen's moves.

What didn't work for Boonen was no problem for three other riders. Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) and Sebastien Hinault (Ag2R-La Mondiale) created a small gap over the favourites group – which was proceeding without Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) or Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank.

In between sector 11 and 10, Boonen took a breather at the back of the main group and that's when the race was decided. Cancellara sneaked away from the front and consolidated his sudden advantage on 3000 meters-long sector at Mons-en-Pévèle. The Swiss Champion quickly bridged up with Hoste, Hinault and Leukemans. Of the trio, only Leukemans was able to keep up with the Swiss champion, but in time he too was dislodged.

In the chase group, Boonen's attempt to bridge to Cancellara was unsuccessful in its major objective, but created a selection of eight men. Flecha, Leukemans, Pozzato, Hoste, Hushovd, Hammond and Hinault the men with the tickets to ride. Despite the organisation behind, by the time Cancellara entered the next pavé sector (Mérignies à Le Prez at 216km) his gap was already up to more than half a minute.

George Hincapie and three HTC-Columbia riders were trailing in the second group, but failed in their bid to bridge up to the eight chasers.

As the rest of the race scrambled to defend their position, Cancellara was forging ahead in an impromptu individual time trial, which saw him build a lead of more than two minutes as he commenced the last 20 kilometres.

In the chasing group Leukemans was dropped after suffering a flat tyre. An acceleration from Flecha saw the numbers in the chase group reduced even further, as both Pozzato and Hoste lost contact with the group.

Flecha's attack typified the apparent desperation of the chase group, who could do nothing to pull back time on the Swiss locomotive that was forging his own path across the pavé. The advantage wavered between 2:30 and 3:00, with almost all the momentum in Cancellara's favour.

When Cancellara hit the Carrefour de l’Arbre with 16 kilometres to race, he had almost three minutes advantage on the bunch. And when he hit sector 3 (Gruson at 244km) the buffer had grown to 3:12, and despite the grimace fixed to his dust covered face he looked every bit a man in control of the situation.

Behind, Pozzato and Leukemans had rejoined the chase group, but as they hit the Carrefour the race for places was reshaped. Flecha and Hushovd setting off together, as Boonen, Pozzato, Hammond and Leukemans formed a second chase group. Again, the acceleration behind had a momentary effect on the gap to the leader, but at 2:45, it was hardly any threat to the Swiss Champion.

With the final sector of cobbles negotiated, Cancellara sacrificed some of his advantage as he drifted across towards his team car to throw several well-earned high-fives. The little gold Angel trinket given to him by his wife and daughter prior to his Flanders win was again extracted from his jersey pocket as a broad grin stretched across his face.

Sweeping around the final right-hand turn and into the velodrome Cancellara rode his half lap with his hands firmly attached to his handlebars, but as the final loop began so did his celebrations. He first clutched his helmet in disbelief and then raised his arms to salute one of the most commanding Paris-Roubaix victories in recent years.

Two minutes later, Flecha led Hushovd into the velodrome. As expected, the Norwegian used his superior sprint prowess to swing inside on the final banking to grab second place from the exhausted Spaniard.

Full Results
1Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank6:35:10
2Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team0:02:00
3Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Professional Cycling Team
4Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team0:03:14
5Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
6Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:03:20
7Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha0:03:46
8Leif Hoste (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:05:16
9Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:27
10Hayden Roulston (NZl) Team HTC - Columbia0:06:59
11Grégory Rast (Swi) Team Radioshack0:07:00
12Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne0:07:05
13Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano
14Dominic Klemme (Ger) Team Saxo Bank
15Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step
16Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Team Katusha
17Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
18Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervelo Test Team
19Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux
20Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
21Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team HTC - Columbia
22Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Transitions
23Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo
24Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team
25Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
26Michael Barry (Can) Sky Professional Cycling Team
27Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
28Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
29George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team
30Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack
31Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank
32Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram
33Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervelo Test Team
34Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
35Frank Hoj (Den) Team Saxo Bank
36Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank0:07:21
37Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Team Katusha0:07:27
38Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team HTC - Columbia0:09:33
39Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
40Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-Farnese Vini0:11:01
41Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux0:12:44
42Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step
43Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram0:12:47
44Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil - Shimano
45Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
46Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
47Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano
48Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Team Radioshack
49Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Team Katusha
50Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
51Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack
52Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:14:00
53Theo Bos (Ned) Cervelo Test Team0:14:32
54Rafai Chtioui (Tun) Acqua & Sapone
55Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
56Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
57Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
58Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram
59Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
60Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo0:14:36
61Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française Des Jeux
62Yohann Gene (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
63Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
64Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:14:38
65Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team
66William Bonnet (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
67Brett Lancaster (Aus) Cervelo Test Team
68Wim De Vocht (Bel) Team Milram
69Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team
70Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
71Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step
72Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française Des Jeux0:16:07
73Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Team Katusha
74Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank0:16:32
HDNikolas Maes (Bel) Quick Step
HDMatteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step
HDMarco Velo (Ita) Quick Step
HDWouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step
HDMarco Bandiera (Ita) Team Katusha
HDLaszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Katusha
HDMikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha
HDMartin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team
HDAdam Blyth (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HDWilfried Cretskens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HDGlenn d'Hollander (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HDSebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HDStaf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
HDKurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team
HDIan Stannard (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
HDMatti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank
HDBaden Cooke (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
HDKasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Saxo Bank
HDGustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank
HDStuart O'Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
HDJacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
HDFabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
HDPeter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo
HDFrederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas-Doimo
HDOlivier Bonnaire (Fra) Française Des Jeux
HDSébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
HDTimothy Gudsell (NZl) Française Des Jeux
HDArthur Vichot (Fra) Française Des Jeux
HDMarkus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram
HDThomas Fothen (Ger) Team Milram
HDRoger Kluge (Ger) Team Milram
HDLuke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram
HDMatthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia
HDAdam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia
DNFVicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia
DNFMarcel Sieberg (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia
DNFMartin Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia
DNFLars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
DNFRick Flens (Ned) Rabobank
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank
DNFJoost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank
DNFAlfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
DNFVitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre-Farnese Vini
DNFMarcin Sapa (Pol) Lampre-Farnese Vini
DNFSteve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNFSaïd Haddou (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNFSébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNFJens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNFGuillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNFJulien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNFKevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNFNico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNFTristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNFRomain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne
DNFMathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
DNFImanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
DNFRui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Caisse d'Epargne
DNFAngel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
DNFLuis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
DNFMathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
DNFJose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
DNFWouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
DNFMartin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
DNFJens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
DNFJoost Van Leijen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
DNFRobin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil - Shimano
DNFRoy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano
DNFKoen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano
DNFFloris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil - Shimano
DNFSteve Houanard (Fra) Skil - Shimano
DNFTyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Transitions
DNFSteven Cozza (USA) Garmin - Transitions
DNFJulian Dean (NZl) Garmin - Transitions
DNFDavid Millar (GBr) Garmin - Transitions
DNFDanny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions
DNFRicardo Van Der Velde (Ned) Garmin - Transitions
DNFJohan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions
DNFJulien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFBen Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFKristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFYuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFNicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFRomain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNFJavier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNFJonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNFAndres Sergio De Lis (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNFGorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNFPablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNFFumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Team Radioshack
DNFGeoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Team Radioshack
DNFSébastien Rosseler (Bel) Team Radioshack
DNFBjorn Selander (USA) Team Radioshack
DNFMarcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
DNFMartin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNFAlexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team
DNFJohn Murphy (USA) BMC Racing Team
DNFMichael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNFJackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team
DNFDanilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNFJimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
DNFCedric Coutouly (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
DNFJimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
DNFFabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
DNFRony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
DNFRomain Matheou (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
DNFStéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
DNFLuca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
DNFFrancesco Di Paolo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
DNFFantini Alessandro (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
DNFReinier Honig (Ned) Acqua & Sapone
DNFGiuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
DNFRubens Bertogliati (Swi) Androni Giocattoli
DNFThomas Bertolini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFAlberto Loddo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFDamiano Margutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFFabrice Piemontesi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFLuca Solari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNSFabio Taborre (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNSCameron Wurf (Aus) Androni Giocattoli

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