|2||Juan Antonio FLECHA|
|» overall rankings|
|28||Troisvilles à Inchy|
|27||Viesly à Quiévy|
|26||Quiévy à Saint-Python|
|24||Vertain à St-Martin-sur-Ecaillon|
|23||Capelle-sur-Ecaillon - Le-Buat|
|22||Verchain-Maugré à Quérénaing|
|21||Quérénaing à Maing|
|20||Maing à Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon|
|19||Haveluy à Wallers|
|18||Tranchée (ou Trouée) d’Arenberg|
|17||Wallers à Hélesmes|
|16||Hornaing à Wandignies - Hamage|
|15||Warlaing à Brillon|
|14||Tilloy à Sars-et-Rosières|
|13||Beuvry-la-Forêt à Orchies|
|11||Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée|
|9||Mérignies à Pont-à-Marcq|
|8||Pont-Thibaut à Ennevelin|
|7||Templeuve - L’Epinette|
|7||Templeuve - Moulin-de-Vertain|
|6||Cysoing à Bourghelles|
|6||Bourghelles à Wannehain|
|4||Carrefour de l’Arbre|
The raceSunday 15 April 2007
|Paris (CompiĂ¨gne) > Roubaix - 259.5 km|
Oâ€™Grady becomes first Oz to win the Queen
Stuart Oâ€™Grady outwitted the favourites to become the first Australian to win the Queen of classics, Paris-Roubaix. Taking over from team leader and title-holder Fabian Cancellara, the 33-year-old rider from Adelaide surged 25 kms from the line to finish on his own on the Roubaix cycling track.
Hampered by injury for most of last season, the CSC rider took the sweetest revenge with the best of the 46 victories in his career, which included a couple of Tour de France stages and an Olympic gold medal for the Madison in Athens.
Oâ€™Grady beat Spainâ€™s Juan-Antonio Flecha, who reacted too late in a sunny and dusty 105th edition to do better than second after finishing 4th and third in the past. Germanyâ€™s Steffen Wesemann (Sizenhof) was third.
The film of the stage
Paris-Roubaix, 105th edition (259.5 kms)
187 riders at the start
Weather: sunny and dry.
Real start was given at 11:00 to 187 riders. After several unsuccessful attempts, the first major break took place at kilometre 31 when some thirty riders parted company with the main bunch. The leading group finally comprised the 34 following riders: Breschel, Oâ€™Grady, Roberts (CSC), Tosatto, Van Impe (Quck Step), Franzoi (Lampre), De Groot (Rabobank), Auger (FDJ), Bert Grabsch, Hammond, Klier (T-Mobile), Steels, Van Avermaet (Predictor Lotto), Valentin (Cofidis), Ralf Grabsch (Milram), Bacquet, Lhotellerie, Goesinnen (Skil Shimano), Putsep (Bouygues Telecom), Bileka (Discovery), Petito, Willems (Liquigas), Portal, Rojas (Caisse dâ€™Epargne), Kopp, Stamsnijder (Gerolsteiner), Dean, Engoulevent (Credit Agricole), Poulhies, Rousseau (AG2R), Irinondo (Eusklatel), Mikhailov (Astana), Wagner and Pollack (Team Wiesenhof). Their lead remained stable at around three minutes and reached four minutes into the first cobbled sector.
Grabsch on his own
Punctures and mechanical problems had their toll and the break lost some of its members (Portal, Klier, Roberts, Bacquet) as its lead was increasing to a maximum of 5:05 after cobbled sector 25 in the first feeding zone (km 114.5).
German Ralf Grabsch (Milram) tried his luck in cobbled sector 22 (km 139) and steadily increased his lead to reach the Arenberg trench on his own with a 1:20 lead over his former companions and four minutes over the peloton. Grabschâ€™s attempt was reined in at kilometre 173.
In the build up to Arenbeg, the bunch was led by the CSC team-mates of last yearâ€™s winner Fabian Cancellara, led by Lars Michaelsen, riding in his very last race. In Arenberg, Tom Boonen was extremely impressive, imposing a hellish pace which scattered the peloton.
Three in the lead
At first, Tour of Flanders winner Alessandro Ballan and Gent-Wevelgem winner Marcus Burghardt were dropped, but they returned on the flat. After Arenberg, a bunch of 60 men, including all the favourites, took shape and were some two minutes (1:55 at km 184) behind the leading group, which lost more riders (Steels, Dean, Engoulevent). .
As the bunch reached the new cobbled sector between Beuvry-la-ForĂŞt and Orchies (km 194.5) Van Impe, Kopp and Pollack, sensing that the morning break was losing momentum, broke clear.
Behind them, their former companions were caught and overtaken by Juan-Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), Lars Michalesen, Bjorn Leukemans (Predictor lotto) and SĂ©bastien Rosseler (Quick Step), who had parted company with the peloton.
Pollack was dropped by Van Impe and Kopp in cobbled sector 9.
At the start of cobbled sector 7, Van Impe and Kopp held a 30 seconds lead over eight riders â€“ Flecha, Michalesen, Leukemans, Ralf Grabsch, Petito, Pollack, Franzoi and Breschel, later joined by Hammond, Wesemann and Oâ€™Grady â€“ while the favourites group were 1:10 adrift. With 30 kms to go, Boonen raised the tempo, followed by Fabio Baldato (Lampre), Marcus Burghardt (T-Mobile), Leif Hoste (Predictor Lotto), Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis), and Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel). Title holder Cancellara was dropped once and for all.
Van Impe and Kopp were caught with 25 kms to go by the Flecha group, while Boonen and his companions were one minute behind and out of contention
On the junction, Oâ€™Grady attacked on his own and held a 25 seconds lead on sector 5 (km 239.5). With 10 kms to go, the Madison Olympic champion held a 50 seconds lead over a gang of four including Flecha, Leukemans, Petito and Wesemann. A last ditch effort was not enough for Tom Boonen to make up for lost time.
Oâ€™Grady held the chasers at bay and became the first Australian rider to win Paris-Roubaix. Felcha was second and Wesemann third.
The winner interview
Oâ€™Grady - From Australian tracks to the Roubaix track
What is your first reaction?
Â«Itâ€™s a dream and I canâ€™t believe it. Paris-Roubaix is the first pro race Iâ€™ve seen on a video tape years and years ago. It has not always worked out for me and Iâ€™ve not won races for a long time but I want to thank the team to have kept their faith in me.
â€śI shared rooms with Fabian and I had told myself why not? I always believed anything was possible. Track is where I was born and where I won my first victories. Since this finishes on a cycling track, Iâ€™d told myself, why not? This is the race I was dreaming of when I was 13â€¦â€ť
Was the team effort decisive?
â€śThe first word that comes to mind is relief. Then itâ€™s thanks to the team for keeping believing in me. Thereâ€™s great comradery in the team and weâ€™re not the best team in the world for nothing. Thereâ€™s a lot going on behind the scenes.â€ť
â€śI spoke to Fabian quickly and he said he was not feeling a 100 percent. I saw that (German Steffen) Wesemann was going pretty strong and after that, there was no holding back.â€ť
â€śAfter that there was no holding back. I pushed myself to the limit and there was no turning back".
You did not win for a long time. What went wrong?
â€śAfter the Olympics, I felt it difficult to get remotivated. Itâ€™s difficult when you realise your dream. Then there were crashes and teams folding before I ended up with Team-CSC."
â€śHad I won Olympic gold in Barcelona in 1992, my career would have been much different. Now you have a different objective with each stage of your career. To find yourself alone in the Roubaix velodrome is a very special feeling."