Johan Van Summeren (Garmin Cervelo) the man usually responsible for the victories of others took on the role of race winner yesterday in the 258km Paris Roubaix as the favorites failed to reel in all of the days survivors of the main breakaway. The riders going for early time over the field swelled to 21 at one point with all of the major teams represented, but when push came to shove from the favorites as Cancellara ripped the field apart on the Mons-en-Pévèle Tomas section of Pave at 60km the powerful Swiss found he had little support from his rivals Ballan and Hushovd and the duo with orders from management refused to work with the Swiss and lost their chances at lifting the 14kg cobblestone trophy high on the podium.
With Van Summeren in full flight and solo off the front of the disintegrated breakaway with 15km remaining the Belgian was building up a handy lead which reached its maximum of 45 seconds with just 3km remaining. Such was the determination and strength of the brilliant Cancellara that with just 2.5km remaining he launched an attack over his rivals that was so fierce there was little chance of getting onto the Swiss's wheel, with the metres racing by so were the seconds with Van Summeren crossing the line at Roubaix arms aloft just 19 seconds ahead of a fast finishing Cancellara.
“This is a great win for me and it’s thanks to my team that I was able to win,” Van Summeren said after hoisting the trademark cobblestone trophy over his head. “Thor (Hushovd) was the leader today for our team. He’s the world champion and I was working for him. When the tactics played out, I was in position to make an attack. I could tell early on that I had good legs.”