Tom Boonen blasts clash of the titans 2005 winner doubles in sprint with Cancellara and Ballan
2005 Paris-Roubaix winner Tom Boonen blasted past his two escape companions – Swiss Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) and Italian Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) – to claim the 'Queen of the Classics' for the second occasion in Northern France. The 27 year-old Belgian of Team Quick Step, winner of the 2005 World Championships, followed the impetus of Cancellara at 36 kilometres remaining and formed the winning move with Ballan.
The trio harmoniously worked towards the velodrome in Roubaix with a healthy advantage, where Boonen blasted from behind his companions on the final quarter lap. 2006 winner Cancellara finished second and Ballan third, while the chasing group was led home with a small advantage by Martyn Maaskant (Slipstream Chipotle - H30) over last year's winner Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC).
"I am extremely proud of what we achieved here today," noted Boonen after his win. "I have focused on today, Flanders and Roubaix. I didn't have the best legs of the leading group when I attacked.
"When I attacked I didn't feel like I was the strongest man of the three, but while we were getting closer to the finish that feeling tilted towards confidence, and in the end I wasn't at all scared to show up on the velodrome with these guys.
"They were dead tired," he added of his two companions. "Cancellara had cramps up until his ears, and Ballan was happy that he wasn't dropped on the Carrefour de l'Arbre. If you know that, you need to be a realist, you shouldn't be the smart-ass that attacks them."
Results 1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 5.58.42 (43.407 km/h) 2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 0.01 3 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre 4 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30 3.39 5 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC 3.57 6 Leif Hoste (Bel) Silence - Lotto 7 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step 3.59 8 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Silence - Lotto 4.35 9 George Hincapie (USA) Team High Road 5.12 10 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Lampre