Posted by Editoress on 04/9/06
Fabian Cancellara (CSC) took a huge win today at the Paris-Roubaix classic, however, second, third and fourth were all disqualified, moving world champion Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) up to second from fifth.
As expected, the selection was made at the Arenberg Forest cobblestones, where all the favourites except Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole), who punctured twice. George Hincapie (Discovery) made the front group, along with Boonen, Van Petegem, Steegmans (Davitamon), Gussev, Hoste (Discovery), Cancellara, Michaelsen (CSC), Wesemann (T-Mobile), Guesdon, Eisel (FDJ), Flecha (Rabobank), Ballan (Lampre), Portal (Caisse d'Epargne).
Hincapie's race was over when his fork crown separated, sending him crashing into the ditch (later reports say he may have injured his collarbone). After that, it was a race of counterattacks which thinned the group to Cancellara, Boonen, Ballan, Hoste, Gussev and Van Petegem. Cancellara attacked strongly with 18 kilometres to go. Gussev tried to stay with him but couldn't manage the pace.
Cancellara's attack split the leaders, with Gussev, Hoste and Van Petegem dropping Boonen and Ballen. Cancellara soloed in for the victory, with Hoste apparently outsprinting Van Petegem for second. However, this is where the disqualification comes in - Cancellara got across some train tracks with 10 kilometres to go, and so did Hoste's group (Boonen and Bllan had to stop, losing 30 seconds). But Hoste's group crossed after the barricades had come down, a no-no under the regulations, so the three were tossed from the results, moving Boonen up to second.
1 .Fabian Cancellara (Sui) CSC , 6:07:54
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step, at 1:51
3. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
4. Juan-Antonio Flecha (Esp) Rabobank, both s.t.
5. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Francaise des Jeux, 3:24
6. Steffen Wesemann (Ger) T-Mobile
7. Frederic Guesdon (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
8. Bert Roesems (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto
9. Christophe Mengin (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
10. Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis, all s.t.
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