Almost flat but full of cobbled sectors, Paris-Roubaix favors only the strongest riders. Last year’s winner Tom Boonen withdrew after his crash in Ronde van Vlandaaren and Fabian Cancellara‘s health is a bit of a mystery after crashing twice past week.
The real start was given at 10:30 CET this morning and the live television coverage starts around 13:00 and will be broadcasted in most countries in Europe, US, Canada and Australia.
in Europe, besides Eurosport, France 3 in France, Sporza and RTBF in Belgium, RTVE in Spain, Rai Sport 2 in Italy, NoS in Holland, RTL in Luxemburg and SF Zwei in Switzerland will broadcast the race live. Other broadcasters include RDS in Canada, NBC Sports in United States and SBS in Australia.
17:17 – Fabian Cancellara won the sprint on the Roubaix Velodrome ahead of Sep Vanmarcke, Niki Tersptra came third one lap behind.
17:05 - After Vanderbergh and Stybar crashed one after the other, Fabian Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke just passed under the 10km banner with 35 seconds lead.
15:50 - Cancellara attacked with Zdenek Stybar (OPQ) and regrouped with the leading duo as they entered Champin-en-Pevele.
15:40 - With 25 kilometers to go, Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco) and Stijn Vandenbergh (OPQ) are on the lead with a 40 seconds gap ahead of the now 10-riders chasing group including Fabian Cancellara (RLT), Damien Gaudin (EUC) and Niki Terpstra (OPQ).
15:15 - The breakaway group has been caught by the chasing bunch, who were down to 40 riders as they approached Mons-en-Pevele sector. Omega Pharma Quick Step team-mates Sylvain Chavanel, Niki Terpstra and Stijn Vandenbergh took charge of the bunch and raised the tempo. We now have a 13-rider leading group now.
15:00 – Michael Schar (BMC) joined the escapees, forming a group of 3. Damien Gaudin (EUC) and Stuart O’Grady (OGE) are chasing the trio which are only 50 seconds ahead of the peloton.
14:30 - The breakaway split into two: Gert Steegmans (OPQ) and Matt Hayman (SKY) are now leading 27 seconds ahead of a chasing group of three riders. The peloton is though closing the gap and is around 1 minute behind the leaders.
14:00 - As Arenberg is passed, the four-men breakaway is now 1:20 ahead of the peloton.
13:15 - New four-men breakaway leads the peloton by 18 seconds: Gert Steegmans (OPQ), Matt Henman (SKY), Stuart O Grady (OGE) and Clement Koretzky (BSE). FDJ’s Yoann Offredo crashed heavily after hitting road furniture.
12:30 - Peloton regroups after the early brekaway failed.
11:00 - 13 riders formed a break and are ahead by 35 seconds: Gert Steegmans (OPQ), Bjorn Thurau (EUC), Bob Jungels (RLT), Gatis Smukulis (KAT), Jacob Rathe (GRS), Jens Debuschere (LTB), Frederik Veuchelen (VCD), Michael Morkov (TST), Evaldas Siskevicius (SOJ), Guillaume Boivin (CAN), Eloy Teruel (MOV), Clement Kortesky (BSE) and Benjamin Lemontagner (BSE).
10:30 - The real start was given to 198 riders from 25 teams.