Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara on Sunday won the Paris-Roubaix cycling event. It was Cancellara’s third major WorldTour victory in the last three weeks after the E3 Harelbeke event and the Ronde of Flanders.
Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara on Sunday won the 2013 Paris-Roubaix cycling event. He was the favourite to win the race, which is famed for the rough section of cobblestones it crosses in Northern France.
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland edged out Sep Vanmarcke in a final sprint to win the Paris-Roubaix cobblestone classic for a third time on Sunday.
Cancellara was the heavy favorite for the 254.5-kilometer (158-mile) race following the withdrawal of Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan.
The RadioShack Leopard rider held off Vanmarcke to win in 5 hours, 45 minutes, 33 seconds.
“In the end I must say I don’t know how I did it,” Cancellara said. “When I see how the race was, everyone against our team, against me ... I don’t know. I had to make a decision because I saw the team was in a difficult situation as we lost a few guys, but that’s Paris-Roubaix, that’s this race. I just kept fighting, I never gave up.”
It was Cancellara’s third major WorldTour victory in the last three weeks after the E3 Harelbeke event and the Ronde of Flanders.
Niki Terpstra edged out Greg Van Avermaet to claim third, 31 seconds behind Cancellara.
Zdenek Stybar had been pushing the leading duo, but his chances were ended when he clipped a fan 15K from the finish. The Czech cyclist finished sixth.
Shortly before, Stybar’s Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammate, Stijn Vandenbergh, had also crashed into a supporter and fell on the Carrefour de l’Arbre.
There was a number of other falls as the race, which has 27 cobbled sectors, lived up to its billing as the “Hell of the North.”
Cancellara was content to sit back in the peloton for most of the route before making his move with around 30K remaining. Along with Stybar, he caught the leading duo of Vanmarcke and Vandenbergh around 20K from the line.
The quartet built up a lead of 35 seconds on their pursuers before the Omega Pharma duo’s misfortunes, leaving Cancellara and Vanmarcke to fight it out as the race went right to the end for the first time since 2008.
“Today there was just pure fighting until the line, to the last millimeter of this race,” Cancellara said. “Today was probably my longest fight ever since I’ve been riding my bike.”
Date created : 2013-04-07