Paris-Roubaix 2009: Pozzato second
Tom Boonen stamped his name into history with a magnificent third victory in Paris-Roubaix thanks in part to an uncanny ability to avoid crashes in the critical final kilometres, as well as his trademark power on the cobbles. He joined fellow Belgians Eddy Merckx, Johan Museeuw and Rik Van Looy on the list of riders who have won the “Hell of the North” three times.
“As a performance I rate this as high as my first win in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, possibly even higher,” said an elated Boonen after the win.
“With all the crashes today, it was very hard, it took time for the last break to take shape. After Arenberg, I had a puncture and took another bike, I did not feel too well at that stage but in the finale, the others looked even worse while I kept the momentum.”
The Quick Step star was in a lead group of six favourites which included a surprise appearance by Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam), along with Leif Hoste, Johan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto), Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha). The six worked together until an unbelievable string of events unfolded with 30km to go which clearly demonstrated that Boonen was riding under a lucky star.
Boonen’s first Easter miracle came when he followed an attack by Hushovd. The pair were fortunate to hold a few metres advantage coming into sector four of the pavé, Le Carrefour de l’Arbre, as the gods of Paris-Roubaix were about to smote the chasing quartet.
Entry filed under: Races.