Paris Roubaix 4/10/11

Paris-Roubaix April 10, 2011
Paris-Roubaix is one of the toughest one-day bike races in the world which stood up to its name on Sunday the 10th when there were numerous crashes and wrecks, most of them coming on smooth paved roads.  The race known as "the Hell of the North" proved to be just that as many riders suffered multiple mechanical failures and injuries.  One man prevailed through it all and that was the Belgian rider out of Garmin-Cervelo squad, Johan VanSummeren.  It took him all of 6 hours, 7 minutes and 28 seconds to finish the 160.3 mile race (that's an average of 26mph in case you were doing the math) over 28 sectors of coblestones.  Not only did he win the race by 19 seconds, he also rode on a rear flat tire the last 3.1 miles.  Coming in second and third was last years winner, Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) and Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) respectively.  The finish is a grand one which takes the riders into the Roubaix Velodrome to do a victory lap in front of thousands of screaming fans.  Although Van Summeren did not seem all that comfortable working the banked turns of the velodrome, he road with great passion and pride and even popped the big question to his girlfriend at the finish line with mud and dust caked on his face and teeth.  It was a great day of riding that some made look easy and others just could not get it together.  Up next on the race schedule is the Fleche Wallonne, a one day race in Belgium.  Catch it on Versus on April 23 @ 2:00pm.