Johan Van Summeren Wins Paris-Roubaix 2011

News & Results

04/10/2011| 0 comments
by Reuters and Roadcycling.com
Johan Van Summeren (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Fabian Cancellara (Team Leopard-Trek) and Maarten Tjallingii (Team Rabobank) on the podium in Roubaix. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Johan Van Summeren (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Fabian Cancellara (Team Leopard-Trek) and Maarten Tjallingii (Team Rabobank) on the podium in Roubaix. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Johan Van Summeren Wins Paris-Roubaix 2011

Team Garmin-Cervelo's Johan van Summeren (Belgium) earlier today won the 2011 Paris-Roubaix classic for the first time after breaking away in the closing kilometers and holding on for an unexpected victory.

Team Garmin-Cervelo's Johan van Summeren (Belgium) earlier today won the 2011 Paris-Roubaix classic for the first time after breaking away in the closing kilometers and holding on for an unexpected victory.

Two-time winner Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland and Team Leopard-Trek finished in second place, but was unable to catch Van Summeren despite a powerful late charge. Dutchman Maarten Tjallingii (Team Rabobank) was third.

Van Summeren completed the 258-kilometer trek in 6 hours, 7 minutes, 28 seconds. Cancellara and Tjallingii were 19 seconds back.

"Once I got up in the front group, I felt I could win," van Summeren said. "I had really good legs. It's wonderful - I can't say anything more."

With defending champion Cancellara, three-time champion Tom Boonen of team QuickStep, last year's runner-up Thor Hushovd (Castelli-sponsored Team Garmin-Cervelo) and Alessandro Ballan (Team BMC Racing) wearing themselves out to catch the front group, Van Summeren tried his luck and broke away with 13 kilometers left.

Ballan finished 36 seconds behind in sixth place, with Hushovd 47 seconds down in eighth spot.

The race, famed for its treacherous cobblestones sections, saw several spectacular crashes.

Boonen recovered from one heavy fall and a puncture.

British rider Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky forged an early breakaway, where he was joined by Italian riders Marco Bandiera and Mirko Selvaggi.

Wiggins was trying to gain early ground in order to better help his Team Sky teammate Juan Antonio Flecha of Spain later on in the race. But Flecha, third last year, finished down in ninth place.

Three riders joined the front three to form a six-man breakaway which led by 35 seconds after 50 kilometers.

They were caught soon before the first cobblestone section. But Russian rider Vladimir Gusev and Frenchman Renaud Dion crashed before they could even reach it, and shortly after the first cobbles a new group of 10 formed a breakaway.

About 80 kilometers from the end, Boonen stood helplessly on the roadside because of a puncture. It was repaired but he lost significant time. Boonen's luck got worse when he was one of several riders to crash on the cobbles after a Rabobank rider tumbled sideways off his saddle and brought others down with him. Boonen later chose to quit the race.

There were further spills, with Frenchman and Boonen-teammate Sylvain Chavanel sliding along the roadside with about 60 kilometers remaining. He lay prone on his side but got back up and onto his saddle.

Another crash on the cobbles soon after saw Italy's Filippo Pozzato, the runner-up in 2009, and Slovakia's Peter Sagan (Team Liquigas) among those who fell.

Van Summeren took advantage of his rivals' fatigue, with Cancellara at one stage childishly complaining to Ballan and Hushovd for not working hard enough to bring back the front group. Both Hushovd and Ballan had teammates located in the front group, Cancellara didn't. Cancellara's Team Leopard-Trek for the 2011 Paris-Roubaix proved to be a huge disappointment.

Van Summeren's rear wheel flatted with about 5 kilometers to the finish line, but he managed to stay in front of his rivals until the

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