Roubaix - Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara of RadioShack won the prestigious
Paris-Roubaix Spring Classic for the third time on Sunday.
The winner from 2006 and 2010 took the gruelling 254km "Queen of the Classics"
race in a sprint climax ahead of Belgian Sep Vanmarcke.
"At the end it was like roulette," reflected Cancellera on the
dash for the line which he claimed by the length of a bike.
The 32-year-old justified his status among the favourites for this 111th
The top two surged clear from Belgian Stijn Vandenbergh and Czech rider
Zdanek Stybar, hampered by spectators, in the 'Carrefour de l'Arbre' section of
In third, half a minute behind, came Dutch champion Niki Terpstra, who edged
in clear of Belgian Greg Van Avermaet and France's Damien Gaudin.
Cancellera was following up his win in last Sunday's Tour of Flanders.
The 2008 Olympic time trial champion moved up to within one win of the
Roubaix win record held jointly by Belgian duo Roger De Vlaeminck and Tom
Boonen, the latter missing from Sunday's renewal after his fall last weekend.
After taking time to get his breath back Cancellera added: "I've never
known a race as hard as this one today.
"A couple of times I thought it was over then I said to myself 'Roubaix
is never finished, the battle never ends'.
"Everything was against us, against our team.
"I don't know how I managed to do it. I gave everything I could, now
I've only got one thing on my mind - a holiday!"
Results from the Paris-Roubaix cycling race on Sunday:
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/RSH), 254km in 5hr 45min 33sec, 2. Sep Vanmarcke (BEL/BLA) s.t., 3. Niki Terpstra (NED/OPQ) at 31sec, 4. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 31, 5. Damien Gaudin (FRA/EUC) s.t., 6. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/OPQ) 39, 7. Sebastian Langeveld (NED/ORI) 39, 8. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP/VAC) s.t., 9. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 50, 10. Sebastien Turgot (FRA/EUC) s.t., 11. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/IAM) s.t., 12. Bernhard Eisel (AUT/SKY) s.t., 13. Maarten Wijnants (BEL/BLA) s.t., 14. Lars Boom (NED/BLA) s.t., 15. Matti Breschel (DEN/SAX) s.t.