So far this year the Roubaix is my favorite race. I have a soft spot for the classic races anyway and this is the Queen of the Classcis. Outside of the typical crashes there wasn’t really much to say about the race till the 50km mark when Tom Boonen decided it was time to ride fast and no one could keep his wheel. Even with multiple team Sky members chasing Boonen kept pulling away. For those reading that aren’t cyclists, that is really hard to do.
This type of race is way more exciting than the often formulaic finishes we see in modern cycling. Normally a break gets away from the pack in the first hour. Then they get a 4 – 5 minute lead till in the last hour – 30 minutes the Peleton (main group of riders) catches them. Finish the race with a bunch sprint and if Mark Cavendish is there you have a 90% chance of knowing who the winner is. Now ‘sprinters’ are good cyclists and I don’t really want to see the sprint finish go away, I’m just less interested in them than mountain stages or 50km flyers like the Roubaix 2012.
You can catch the report on the race at Cycling.tv. Cycling Tips has a bunch of awesome photos.