Did anyone catch Paris-Roubaix on Versus?  It was pretty exciting.   Tom Boonen ended up beating Fabian Cancellara and Alessandro Ballan in a 3-rider sprint.  However, how it got to that point was the exciting part because once the 3 entered the velodrome it was nothing but a formality on who was going to win.

Earlier in the race the 3 were involved in a 10 rider break.  Ballan had chased up to this break from an earlier flat which was a feat in itself.  George Hincapie and Juan Antonio Flecha were in a larger group chasing hard.  After a teammate of Boonen’s, Stijn Devolder, was reeled in Boonen attacked.  Cancellara was right on his wheel and countered.  This drew Ballan and the rest were racing for 4th.  Amazingly, the rider that got 4th was a Slipstream-Chipoltle rider, Martijn Maaskant.  An up and coming Dutch rider.  A great result for the American team and Jonathan Vaulters.

Anyway, with just a few kilometers left Cancellara attacked a couple of times to try and rid himself from the heavily favored sprinter, Boonen.  Each time Boonen responded with power and ease.  Ballan was left as just a bystander as Cancellara and Boonen went mano-y-mano.  The time trial speed and finese of Cancellara versus the power and sprint of Boonen.  Once they entered the velodrome together it was over.

George Hincapie ended up 9th, about 5:00 minutes down.  He just can’t seem to catch a break in the “Hell of the North”.  That may have been his last real hope for a chance at the Cobbled Trophy.  It’s kind of like all the good tennis players who have played in the era of the Roger Federer.  They may be good but he is one notch above everyone else.  Hincapie just happened to be riding during the Boonen years.