Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fantastic Footage of the 1994 Milan San Remo


A parade of stars,
March 19, 1994



Here's a fascinating memento, pre-race, of the 1994 Milan-SanRemo.

A who's who of the nineties cycling fraternity. I find this highly interesting, of fans screaming out riders' names, having an autograph and just staring at the riders as they paraded before them. I can't think of a sport where the athletes and fans can mingle so close to one another. 

What puts it into context is the repeated images of the imposing gothic, Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano). The riders, some famous and not-so famous, pop into the view of the camera, a documentary snapshot of that era. I recognize a few riders in their team kits, another important aspect that puts it all into context. Certain kit designs should've never been allowed in the Pro Peloton... ie. Team Polti. See if you can spot the better looking kit (in my opinion) of Brescialat and one of it's famous riders. Hint: he's Belgian.

Add in the regal presence of Mario 'Lion King' Cipollini, with his slick over-gelled hair. Cipo, of course, was more than just glitz, he finished the race in second behind winner, Giorgio Furlan.

See if you can spot some of cycling's stars of the nineties!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Expect the Unexpected

Sanchez takes yellow!



I awoke early this Saturday morning (5:30am) expecting exciting racing at the Tour of Turkey and Tour de Romandie.

And, I wasn't disappointed!

Tour of Turkey... stage 7

Was a mad dash for lljo Keisse (Omega Pharma) inside the last bend. The six-day track rider fell onto the tarmac. His chance for a solo breakaway victory fizzled. Meanwhile, a hungry peloton was closing and Keisse calmly, I mean he was Mr. Calm, remounted his chain got back on his Specialized and decided to ride the last kilometer as the track specialist that he is.

I've never seen an end to a race like this before. As he was within the last 300 meters, the peloton led by renown fast men, Kittel and Petacchi looked poised to catch the Belgian rider.

It's hard to keep a track man down... The very swift and calm lljo Keisse rode and cross the finish line triumphant in front of Marcel Kittel (second) and Alessandro Petacchi (third).


The Dramatic last kilometer!


Tour de Romandie... the Queen stage.

Tejay Van Garderen was struck in the face by a tree branch descending off the first climb. The winds were whipping around 60kph, so much so a branch hit the American cutting his nose forcing him to abandon. Going into today's stage, Van Garderen was in 17th place, 15 secs behind Wiggins and 4th in the Young rider classification, a good GC placing taking out by tree branch.


Second stage win & 
10 second time bonus.


Bradley Wiggins won't be getting a birthday present today. Luis Leon Sanchez, started the day one second behind him, won the stage with a 10 second time bonus, holds the yellow jersey. 
Which paves the way for tomorrow's final stage, the time trial. Nine seconds to beat?

Wiggins' birthday present may come a day later.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two Colombian Cycling Icons & One in the Making

Colombian Cycling Fab 3,
Lucho, Sergio & Ramon.




I'm happily in possession of three Colombian cyclists.

Don't worry, I haven't kidnapped anyone.

I recently received more made in Colombia ribbon from Klaus (Cycling Inquistion) for another order of the hugely popular and quickly selling... Colombian Cycling Sombreros. With the colorful ribbons in hand, Carolle and I are flexing our nimble fingers and getting into cycling cap production.

It's a pleasure to be making these colorful and handsome cycling caps. And I'm happily bombarded with, thanks again Klaus, the stickers of Colombian cycling icon's; Lucho Herrera and Ramon Hoyos. The middle image is a button pin of first year pro for SKY and icon in the making... Sergio Henao.

Sergio Henao is work in progress, a grimpeur in the Colombian sense: born in the mountains with talent to burn. He signed a two-year contract for SKY, and in his first season he's learning the ropes in Europe. When I write he's a grimpeur, well he is, he's already won the 2010 Vuelta a Colombia.

Lucho Herrera is legendary as the second rider to win the KOMs jersey in all three Grand Tours; Vuelta a Espana (1987, 1991), Giro d'Italia (1989), Tour de France (1985, 1987). In the 1984 Tour, I was watching on tv and captivated by the climbing abilities of Herrera and followed him ever since.

And, Ramo Hoyos is Colombia's first great cycling champion winning the Gold medal in the men's individual road race at the 1959 Pan American Games. Read the interview here.

Today I wore the Sergio Henao button pin, I should say proudly, on my way to sell one of my cyclingart prints to a returning customer. A lucky talisman?  I don't know, but I was happy to have the Sergio Henao button pin on!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Giro d'italia: Italian Excitement, Stage Hunting & Passo dello Stelvio

The Passo dello Stelvio ...stuff of legends.



The Italian excitement is building...

The Giro d'italia starts next Saturday in Herning, Denmark with the timetrial. GreenEDGE will be ready for their first Grand Tour experience with the goal for stage victories. They won't have a team for the GC but they will have a formidable squad to go stage hunting. Matt Goss will be the leader and will get the support for the sprint stages. Svein Tuft and Jack Bobridge are two track guys with plenty of gusto, grinta, and gumption to put the drag back in dragster. The TTT will be a target for GreenEDGE, and I believe they can win it.

Tuft is a seven-time National TT Champion and the 2008 World TT silver medalist. The Canadian is also well known for his incredible 200km solo ride in front of the peloton on stage 2 of the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico. Bobridge is holder of numerous World Track Pursuit titles... and he's only 22 years old!

Christian Meier will also be indispensable for GreenEDGE's for stage four's 32.2 km TTT and a good lead up man for Goss's sprint train. Good to see that South African Dayl Impey will ride and brings good credentials: national TT champion and 2009 winner of the Tour of Turkey.

The 3-week race will no doubt have the drama, beauty and passion the Giro is known for. The 'high point' is the queen stage, having the riders climb the Mortirolo and onto the mountain-top finish of the Stelvio. The penultimate stage is on May 26th. That's 218km long, 5,900 metres of climbing. The Stelvio, 2,757 metres, is all about drama with three finishes; 1965-Graziano Battistini, 1972-Jose Manuel Fuente, 1975-Francisco Galdos. And now, this year.

The story of the Stelvio was heralded by the great Fausto Coppi (the Heron), opening his wings to win in 1953, the first year it was included in the race. He launched his attack, from race leader Hugo Koblet, at the beginning of the climb crossed the summit alone into Bormio winning the stage and his fifth Giro, tying Alfredo Binda's record.

Since that legendary exploit, the Stelvio is known as the Cima Coppi and every year the Giro honors that epic day naming the highest climb and awarding a prize to the first rider over it.


The 95th Giro d'Italia;  May 5 - May 27.





'the most beautiful race in the world.'


Shark's teeth...
Ending on top of the Stelvio!


Lovely video on the Legend of the Passo dello Stelvio!














Celebrating the mountains for the 50th edition


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

La Doyenne: Astana High!

Iglinsky's Grinta pays off!
These fans cheered for Jelle Vanendert, who placed 10th.
Photo: Veeral Patel



Who would've thought that Maxim Iglinsky would win Sunday's Liege-Bastonge-Liege?

Astana chalks up another surprise classic winner as LBL ends the one-day Spring Classics. Enrico Gasparotto also surprised as he won the Amstel Gold Race, adding good form once again taking third.

I didn't have him on my radar but yet he won with a brilliant late chase passing an equally impressive Vincenzo Nibali to win the biggest race in his career. The Shark of Messina is one rider to watch for in the upcoming Giro for the overall victory. One things for sure, this talented rider has grinta, he'll be back to win a big classic. His talent is being recognized (with big bucks) as Liquigas has confidence to offer him a 2 year extension of $1.8 million Euros per year!

The major favorites were not there in the end of this grueling classic supported by winds, intermittent rain and cold. The Schlecks disappointing Ardennes showing was plain and simple, not their day for success. Further hints of seeing Frank and Alejandro Valverde (2006 & 2008 winner) at the back bundled due to the cold was not the conditions for them. Even heavy local favorite and my favorite, PhilGil didn't have the legs to respond when Nibali launched his attack on the climb of La Redoute.

Nibali kept up his attack and grinta and I was certain he would finally win his first Monument. It was quite a feat, when Iglinsky left the clutches of Rodriguez caught and rode away from an exhausted Nibali

Iglinsky ruled the day, surprised himself and his team manager, Guido 'The Cyclone' Bontempi said...

It's a big surprise for us. We came here looking for a good result and now we've won two out of the past three races; it's amazing.


Full results here.



"that must be soul destroying!"

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FRF: Four Bridges Ride

Roll out,
Karel, Dylan & Guy.



I was watching this mornings Liege-Bastonge-Liege and was running late for my early morning rendezvous with our new Sunday group ride... Fraser River Fuggitivi (FRF).

Fortunately, I was able to watch the exciting ending as Maxim Iglinsky caught Vincenzo Nibali to stamp his monumental LBL victory. I'll have a detail post upcoming. It was perfect timing and then I was off to New Westminster to meet up with Guy.

Two riders, Karel & Dylan, joined us on our inaugural ride meeting at 9:15am from Tre Galli Caffe in River Market. It's fun to meet new riders as we cruised, under partly sunny skies, over the four bridges spanning Delta, Richmond and New Westminster. Nice to ride in group again spent time chatting and riding.

Clouds breaking up,
no chance of rain...


I'm feeling good about this group ride as Karel and Dylan were as excited as Guy and I to get out and enjoy exploring the roads along the Fraser River. Very good company today. Fun for me, because a few of these roads I've never rode or even driven on before. We had a couple of riders cancel due to work, hopefully we will see them for upcoming rides.

I'm inviting like minded local roadies who like to ride at an easy to moderate pace (25-30 kph) with us, enjoy excellent espresso, it certainly pass my test, and go out for a 50 kms fun Sunday morning ride. If you are game, then we would like your company. You can follow us on twitter. If you have questions; Email: guy(at) le-grimpeur(dot)net  or my Email: info(at)cyclingart(dot)ca

So, what does fuggitivi mean?

Guy has the last say...


Fuggitivi is the Italian expression for breakaway riders; the translation, perhaps unsurprisingly, is ‘fugitives’. It seemed like an appropriate choice for a name as sometimes escaping one’s other commitments to go for a ride can feel like being a fugitive.




Fuggitivi Shoulder Cam.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

LBL: Pain & Glory

1957 LBL...
Cold & nasty!



Only hours before the Old Lady of Classics presents herself... Liege-Bastogne-Liege!

The last weather report is for rain and highs around 14C, perfect conditions for the oldest classic. Well known for it's Belgian style inclement weather, where snow is not unusual.

Bernard Hinault raced, in 1980, in a raging snowstorm to pull off a champion of champions ride to win his second LBL. The cold was so severe, Hinault was interviewed many years later said, "I lost all feeling in my fingertips that day."

The 1957 edition, was another day of snowy hell. Only 15 of the 107 starters made it to the finish. Three-time Tour de France champion Louison Bobet would be one of the brave to finish in  9th place behind Germain Derycke and Frans Schoubben. Bobet said, "That was the most painful ordeal of my career."

Many of cycling's great Tour champions have won: Anquetil, Merckx (5 victories), Hinault (twice). But, all eyes will be on Philippe Gilbert and whether he can win his second LBL.

There's no forecast for snow, but this race will be epic.


My prediction: Gilbert, Cunego, Hesjedal.



1957...
More snow!

1980...
Hinault's cold daze!


1969...
Merckx on his way to winning 
his first LBL.


1966...
Anquetil wins his monument.

Friday, April 20, 2012

El Puma Pounces & Bandeja Paisa

El Puma's snowy glory!
Photo: Bettini




EL PUMAAAAAAAA!

That's what I believe the  Colombian play by play announcers are screaming out after El PUMA's huge win. They must be going crazy in Colombia...

I love his nickname. I'm referring to Darwin Atapuma, the young Colombia Coldeportes rider who shone in the final snowy climb atop the legendary Passo Pordoi in the final stage of the Giro del Trentino.

A first European win for the Colombian Coldesportes team. Atapuma fought through snow/sleet and freezing temperatures, attacking in the final kilometers for a glorious victory. They've been struggling in  the early season, now rewarded with a victory.


"What an attack by the Colombian..."



The overall victory goes to Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox), by far the strongest rider taking care of any threats from Damiano Cunego and Sylvester Szmyd. A man to watch in the Giro.
Atapuma grew up watching Lucho Herrera's Tour de France wins and is modest in his victory by dedicating it to his team manager, Claudio Corti. 

Pure Class!

Full results list.


Klaus, from the superb blog, Cycling Inqusition (everything Colombian cycling) sent me this nifty and handy Bandeja Paisa recipe. A staple of Colombia and part of every rider's diet, a caloric monster that, in Klaus's words... Make most men cry. Here's a recipe.

You can purchase the equally colossal Colombian Cycling Sombreros made by Carolle and I of Red Dots Cycling on his site.


By the way Klaus, I plan to try it, and not eat for for a few days!



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cyclops Track Bike Question...



Recently, I was contacted for information concerning this Mike Mulholand Cyclops track bike, specifically who is D. Richards, the rider that the bike was made for. Can someone tell me who D. Richards is? He may have rode during the Pan Am Games in the eighties thru nineties.

I'm stumped... perhaps someone has the answer?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fleche Wallonne: The Purito Rocket

Hesjedal & Nordhaug against all odds...



Congratulations, finally, to Joaquim Rodriguez for adding his first Fleche Wallonne and major classic to his palmares. What a relief to win after his second in the race in 2010 and 2011.

With 400 meters left, El Purito fired his rockets on the steep Mur de Huy and proceeded his quick rise to the top leaving behind Michael Albasini (brilliant 2nd), Philippe Gilbert (3rd) and Jelle Vanendert (4th) by four, I'm going to take this win, seconds.

Convincing for sure.


Purito,
defying gravity!



As a favorite beating the heavy favorite for the honors, I was cheering for Ryder Hesjedal's daring antics, along with Lars-Petter Nordhaug making a great escape (at the 8km mark) before hitting the WALL.

Hesjedal is riding into excellent form and I really thought he could cement the big win except for certain Purito Rocket flying away! Finishing a very good 21st brings him next to this Sunday's Old Lady, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and then to the Giro as leader of Garmin-Barracuda.

Hesjedal's dream is to win LBL, perhaps taking a weight of the nation to victory.


Hey dreams come true... just ask Purito!




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tour le Excitement!



In July 1939, the great photographer, Robert Capa stood in front of this bicycle shop, owned by rider Pierre Cloarec, waiting for the Tour to come by. I would say these two photographs are the best images of the Tour de France with no riders or bikes. These images were taken in Pleyben, Brittany, France during the final Tour before war.

Pierre Cloarec had a fantastic Tour, winning two stages finishing 31st overall behind winner Sylvere Maes. It wasn't easy to dig up some images of Cloarec, but I did find the team roster from Mirror des Sport.


Allez... les fans!








Monday, April 16, 2012

Fleche Wallonne: Pain Time

Up the hurt locker




If any indication of the weather forecast for this Wednesday's Fleche Wallonne classic is true... then I'm really looking forward to it.

So far, the conditions for Charleroi, Belgium is for cloudy, showers high of 8C. Of course, I'm a fan for Belgian Classics paired with a fine Belgian Chimay is pure heaven. And add in plenty of inclement weather, 194km in length, with a number of short, steep, vicious climbs finishing up on the nasty Mur de Huy... that's more heaven.

The Mur de Huy is also known as le Chemin des Chapelles (The Path of the Chapels) for the seven chapels along it's route, that means no time for praying.

It's brutish with 10 climbs to the finish in Huy, including three climbs up the Mur de Huy. Call it leg breaking with an average gradient of 9.3%, as steep as 26%.



Rigoberto Uran...
Upset king?



Three out:

Peter Sagan (2nd in Amstel, brilliant attempt at his first classic win) will not be dressed for both FW and LBL. He's currently second in the UCI standings and decided to rest calling his classic season over. Damiano Cunego decided to race in the Giro del Trentino, instead. I thought he would love to get back at SKY's Lars Petter Nordhaug, who he tussled with hitting the deck on top of the Cauberg. Cadel Evans decides the upcoming miserable weather is too much for his sinus infection and will rest and not start both Ardennes races.


A whole lot in:

You can't rule out Ardennes Gilbert. His form is getting better, and that's no good for the rest of the riders. An added factor: the crazy Belgium fans screaming for him to win on top of the Wall.

Joaquim Rodriquez: El Purito will want it badly, since his bad luck in Amstel.

Ryder Hesjedal: Gaining form, will want to better his 15th in Amstel.

Christophe Le Mevel: Garmin's other choice for victory. He finished 9th last year.

Vincenzo Nibali: The shark replaces Sagan and if he's there in the end, can spoil the party.

My dark horse:

Rigoberto Uran. He's exactly the type of rider for these short climbs to pull off a classic victory.


The start list.



Pain time!  



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tro Bro Leon: Double Victory for SpiderTech

O Canada!
Ryan Roth wins the 29th Tro Bro Leon!
Photo: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com



Racing in a cloud of dust...



THIS JUST IN: RYAN ROTH OF SPIDERTECH WINS TODAY'S TRO BRO LEON!


A tremendous and stupendous win for Roth with teammate, Guillaume Boivin finishing in third gives Spidertech their first European victory. This is only the 29th edition, raced on narrow, dirt sections also refer to as the Hell of the West or le Petit Paris-Roubaix.

This picturesque race held in Brittany is the perfect race for the Canadians to cement their first European win.

Spidertech riders have done well in the past ...Will Routely finishing second last year.



"This is the biggest win ever for me. I've never been on the podium of a race in Europe and this one is very special. It's one of the coolest races we do, it's very unique and only once a year we have a race like this. I've been away from home for a long time, so it's a nice reward."


Ryan Roth


Congratulations are in order and many more victories!




Narrow dirt sections of the Hell of the West...
I like this!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Amstel Gold Picks

Attack on the Cauberg, 2011...
Can Gilbert make it three in a row?
Photo: Bettini


Today's ride with Guy was all about delicious coffee at the Musette Caffe, a beautiful ride in the sun and picking our favorites for tomorrow's 47th Amstel Gold Race.

I never did hear Guy's picks as he turned off towards home.

I'm going for two of my favorite's; either Liquigas strongman, Peter Sagan and Canada's Ryder Hesjedal for the win of the Dutch opener of the Ardennes Classics.

A special type of rider will win this hilly (30 climbs), 256.5 km test with the famous
finish up the Cauberg... the Rouleur.

Slovakian Peter Sagan is my favorite to make his first Classic win. His credentials (Gent-Wevelgem 2nd, Milan-San Remo 4th), Flanders 5th) are too hard to miss, as he's destined to win his first huge classic.

Ryder Hesjedal excelled in the 2010 Amstel finishing second to Philippe Gilbert and comes with a very strong Garmin-Baracuda team. If he does it, it will be his breakthrough win cementing him as a bonafide classics star.




Friday, April 13, 2012

Last Shout in Hell

Last shout for Paris-Roubaix!
photo: James Startt




Now that the 110th edition of Paris-Roubaix is over, I would like to leave you with an iconic image and video of this wonderful ...Hell!




A Sunday of Hell

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Voeckler's Tongue-Lashing

Is the short, shorts a Voeckler thing?



Thomas Voeckler wowed everyone with, how can you not admire his panache, his take no prisoners winning ride in the Brabantse Pijl. I'm not going call him the next Hinault, but he clearly has the fundamental aggressive tendencies of the Badger.

I like the Belgium race, part of the Flanders Classics and opens the door to the Ardennes Classics. It was the 52nd edition of the Brabant Arrow complete with all the trimmings; hail, rain and treacherous roads with Andy Schleck and Peter Sagan as crash victims.

But, the star was the attack of Europcar's Voeckler going with 35km, blazing away at times grimacing with his tongue out as a measure of his supreme effort. No one had the legs to follow him as the gap widen.

Fabio Duarte (U23 World Champion), of the Colombia-Coldeportes team rode heroically attacking the final chase group. He looked strong and impressive on the Belgian cobbled slopes and looked ready to podium until Oscar Freire and Pieter Serry caught and passed Duarte in the final kilometer.

Heavy favorite, Philippe Gilbert (2011 winner) was another casualty of Voeckler's untouchable ride finishing in a disappointing 12th place behind a fantastic ride by Vancouver's Ryan Anderson (11th, Team Spidertech).

A great win for Europcar, too with potential for further greatness from the likes of: David Veilleux, Pierre Rolland, Sebastien Turgot, Yukiya Arashiro... Thomas Voeckler gave a good ole French tongue lashing on a hardman's Belgian course and was already across the finish line enjoying his first win of the season.




I'm expecting to see an image of 
Tommy Voeckler,tongue out, for next year's poster.



Allez Voeckler!




Classic bleary eye effort!
Friere (2nd), Serry (3rd), & Duarte (4th)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Now at Bicyclegifts

I'm please to welcome back my sponsor, Bicyclegifts.com!



This Hell of the North jersey... is for you!
Courtesy from Bicyclegifts


A number of new products are available for bicyclists, cyclists and bicycle enthusiasts. One of my favorite jerseys is the Hell of the North Jersey named for the famous Paris-Roubaix. A devilish way to support your love for this great race. And, as a bonus... a free Hell of the North mini poster with your purchase of this unique jersey.

They now have T-Shirt Time... buy any two Apres Velo garments and receive a FREE t-shirt. I'm weak at the knees for this Bicycle Brethren Biker Jacket . This is a stunning jacket perfect when you're in relax mode.

There's always something interesting and unique to purchase...


So go ahead and ride on over to Bicyclegifts!


Bicycle Brethren Biker Jacket by Apres Velo


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Frederic Guesdon: His Last Monumental Ride in Roubaix

Adieu Paris-Roubaix!



Frederic Guesdon, the 40 year old veteran, rode his final and 17th record tying Paris-Roubaix.

The favorite French FDJ-Big Mat rider collapsed in the velodrome, in 88th place outside the time limit.

That's an astounding 18 years as a professional rider. In his third Paris-Roubaix the savy Frenchman was with a eight-rider group into the veldrome. He surprised everyone by sprinting away to victory and gave his 1997 La Francaise des Jeux team it's biggest win in it's inaugural season. Marc Madiot, two time winner in 1985 & 1991, was Guesdon's team director and beamed in delight. His wins have been sparse, only 11. But, Guesdon duly won the 2006 Paris-Tours.


A warrior's win in 1997,
"In the end, I surprised them and beat them all."


He crashed and broke his hip at January's Tour Down Under and his wish to finish his career in Roubaix was in doubt. A return to the Tour of Flanders (65th) cast any doubts for his Roubaix objective.

Part of the warrior class of riders is riding Paris-Roubaix, Guesdon shares the record with George Hincapie. But, Lady luck was cruel to Guesdon, after crashing and puncturing the honorable way was to finish.

As Tom Boonen was accepting his cobblestone trophy, Frederic Guesdon entered the velodrome and crossed the finish line with a huge applause from the fans ... honor restored for the retired champion of Paris-Roubaix.


Daniel Mangeas introduces Guesdon at
the start...

Merci Fred!


His last shower in Roubaix...

Cheers! to Frederic Guesdon!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The World of Boonen

Man, machine and...
cycling god!



After watching Tom Boonen dominate and effortlessly win Paris-Roubaix, I've decided he's of another world.

He didn't need much luck to win. Just an extraordinary will to ride off the front of the race when the finish was so distant. I thought he would eventually crack and his rivals would soon take advantage of his boastful move.


A solo ride of god-like proportions.


This is the toughest one-day race to win, even harder to win it solo.

He attacked with teammate, Niki Terpstra with 56 kms remaining, leaving him and passed the crucial Carrefour de L'Arbre pave section for a solo ride never to be touched by any of his rivals to win his fourth and tie Roger DeVlaeminck's record.

Pippo Pozzato (second in Flanders) backed off the heavy acceleration of Boonen and the unlucky Italian losing a rear wheel in a cobblestone corner sending him down injuring his right knee. He gingerly got back on his bike, looking like he was in slow-motion, then abandon the race he so wanted to win for the late Franco Ballerini.

Time was on Boonen's side. His incredible solo mission gained more time. After the Carrefour de l'Arbe section, Boonen was riding as if he was on his own plane of existence. A three-man group; Boom (2008 World Cyclocross Champion), Flecha (remarkably back from his broken hand) and Ballan (3rd in Flanders) chased for second place. Boonen raced into the fabled Velodrome and took a champions lap of victory entering into the pantheon of godhood in Roubaix.


Battle for second.


As the Ballan, Flecha & Boom trio hit the velodrome, an amazing chase by Sebastien Turgot and Niki Terpstra made for an exciting second place finish. Turgot just beating Ballan for second, Flecha (4th), Tersptra (5th) and Boom (6th). Now, in hindsight, the race was for second.


The special Lazer helmet of Filippo Pozzato
in honor of Franco ballerini.


His 2012 season has been in overdrive and doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Boonen is the first rider, in the same season, to win the Tour of Qatar, E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and now, Paris-Roubaix. His combined total of seven Roubaix and Flanders wins is a new record.


Truly god-like.



Noteworthy: Veterans, George Hincapie (43rd) & Frederic Guesdon (88th) were the first to ride seventeen editions of Paris-Roubaix.
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