Fabian Cancellara’s Paris-Roubaix didn’t go to plan yesterday as he crashed on the Mons-en-Pevele cobbled sector which took away his chance of winning a fourth title in Northern France.
Cancellara was billed as the race favourite, but it was Orica-GreenEdge’s Matt Hayman who took the surprise victory ahead of Tom Boonen, and Team Sky’s Ian Stannard.
Cancellara is retiring at the end of this season; but he was tipped to perform well in both the toughest Classics; the Tour of Flanders and Roubaix.
He did well in Flanders where he finished second, but ‘Spartacus’ didn’t have luck on his side this year, as a spectacular Roubaix race got away from the three-time winner.
Cancellara happy it's over
Cancellara has won Roubaix on three occasions; in 2006, 2010, and 2013; but speaking after the race he said: “I’m just happy it’s over.”
The build up to the cobbled Classics was huge; many people looked at the rivalry between Boonen and Cancellara; but ultimately the pair didn’t win either Flanders or Roubaix; Peter Sagan won Flanders, and then Hayman picked up the biggest win of his career.
Obviously the race didn’t pan out as Cancellara would have liked, but the Trek-Segafredo rider said: ”I’m just happy. I’m not happy about the race, but I’m happy in general.
“I don’t have that much pain in my legs, not from the crashes either, but that’s Paris-Roubaix,” continued Cancellara.
The crash held up a number of riders, but it was a crash that had deeper significance for Cancellara: “There it was over and I couldn’t do anything. Roubaix was gone. The damage was too big and Roubaix was over.”
Now Cancellara will target the Maglia Rosa in the Giro D’Italia and then the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France as his farewell from the sport continues.