ROUBAIX, France (VN) — The cruel hand of cycling’s time-cut rules meant that 10 riders who finished Paris-Roubaix will not have an official result lodged in the history books.
Former winner Stuart O’Grady (Leopard-Trek) was among the riders who survived Roubaix’s infamous cobbles to cross the line in the velodrome only to have their results erased because they were beyond the time limit. All races have time cuts, but it almost seems cruel to enforce the rules at a race as punishing and dangerous as Roubaix.
There were 108 official finishers, 10 hors délai, and 79 abandons.
It was particularly rough going for the Spaniards. Euskaltel-Euskadi only saw two of its eight starters arrive at the velodrome while seven of Movistar’s starting eight abandoned. Katusha fared even worse; none of its eight starters made it to Roubaix.
It was a mixed bag for North Americans on the cobbles.
Garmin-Cervélo, of course, won its most important race since entering the European big leagues with Johan Van Summeren.
David Veilleux (Europcar) posted an excellent Roubaix debut to lead the North American contingent with 25th at 3:45 back. Veilleux worked into the day’s main breakaway and held tough until the final 20km, when he said the length and battering of Roubaix almost got the best of him.
“We wanted to have a rider in the break, so I was glad to get out there. I was happy to be able to ride my first Roubaix in a smaller group, especially across the Arenberg. I had heard horror stories about how rough that it when the peloton is roaring into that in a full sprint,” Veilleux told VeloNews.
“I had never raced longer than 200km in North America, and now over here in Europe, we’ve been going 200-220km almost every race. I was doing OK until the final 20km or so, then I really started to suffer.”
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) was the lead American, finishing 28th at 4:46 back. George Hincapie (BMC), perhaps racing in his final Paris-Roubaix, came through 42nd at 4:46 off the winning pace.
Roubaix rookies Bjorn Selander and Benjamin King (both RadioShack) each rode very well to get through the race, crossing the line 72nd and 76th, respectively, in a group at 12:58 back.
Dominique Rollin (FDJ) was also part of the growing Canadian contingent, with 95th at 13:53 while compatriot Michael Barry (Sky) was 102nd at 17:42.
Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Steven Cozza (NetApp) were among the 79 riders who abandoned during the race.