Roubaix: A Second Look

Radio Shack rider Ben King tucked into the group with Lampre’s Dimitry Kryvstov.

We are fortunate, here at RKP, to have access to the panoply of great photos being shot from roadside in Europe by John Pierce. This batch came in shortly after the race, and provides ample illustration of how, even on a beautiful spring day, Paris-Roubaix can be a brutal and punishing race not for the faint of heart or backside.

Tom Boonen (not Sylvain Chavanel),  wears the look of a man destined for disappointment over the cobbles at this year’s Queen of the Classics.


Thor Hushovd takes to the gutter, while others choose the crown of the cobbles. It was a dusty day in the North of France, proving that, wet or dry, hell is still hell.


The large breakaway group in another dusty section of pavé. Spare a thought for the poor, Mavic neutral service moto, soaking up all those bumps to tend to mechanicals in stretches team cars are not allowed to follow.


Cancellara sitting in, in advance of destroying the chase group with a series of, by now, patented accelerations. Perhaps we should change his nickname from Spartacus to “the Selector.”


Johan van Summeren throwing his wobbly victory salute, quite possibly the single greatest moment he will ever have on a bicycle. The lanky Belgian doubled down by asking his girlfriend to marry him, shortly after spraying the Roubaix crowd with valedictory champagne.


A close-up of van Summeren, exhausted after pushing off the front and time-trialing to the finish, a worthy victor. You can nearly make out the smear of Belgian toothpaste (dust) that coats his weary smile.


Garmin-Cervelo’s bruised, battered and filthy Tyler Farrar looking far from triumphant at the finish in Roubaix. Farrar hit the deck at the Scheldeprijs just a few days before Paris-Roubaix, and then had his day in France ended prematurely by a further crash.


Images: John Pierce, Photosport International


  1. Author

    AMSG – You’re right and I am wrong. The dirt makes it hard to tell, but Chavanel was wearing gloves that day, and Boonen was not.

    1. Padraig

      This is partly my fault. I’m shirking my duties (and helping with captions is a duty of mine) as I’ve been at a conference on flow states in West Hollywood. There are intentions of growing this thing and looking at the hard neuroscience as well as contributions by athletes and artists. I’ve got a part to play in it, but am not yet sure just what. Thanks for bearing with my reduced posting this week. I’ve been trying to finish up two different posts and tomorrow I’m off to the Sea Slaughter (Otter).

  2. Author

    @kgc – If this was the back of Highlights magazine, you would be on to some article about Ranger Rick, and I would still be staring at the picture going cross-eyed.

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