Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yes, Cancellara is fast, smart and strong - but what was Boonen to do?

Riis is a bit biased in this, and he does make a good point about the timing of Cancellara's attack - but what was Boonen to do? He had already attacked on the cobbles to thin the lead bunch out, and he had softened a few legs. But he had to rest at some point, regather his energy, have a bite to eat. Cancellara had only to follow his wheel, match his attacks and wait for the moment. Which he did.

And when the break was made, Boonen was down the back of an elite bunch. He would have expected someone else to chase Cancellara, but of course they didn't. Not with commitment anyway. And why should they tow sprinters like Hushovd and Boonen to the line, anyway? So there you have it - Boonen needed a rest after doing a lot of legwork, and noone was going to tow the others back to Cancellara. So Boonen was trapped. Had he been more alert and closer to Cancellara he may well have responded and brought him back, but he had already done too much.

And if he'd done nothing? 

Riis Reveals The Secret Of Cancellara's Roubaix Attack | Cyclingnews.com
"Boonen is strong but Cancellara is better. He's great," he said with total admiration.

"Boonen made mistakes during the race. How many? Two can be too many. I think if you want to win this race you have to stay calm, relaxed and not stressed. Then go when you have to go.

"The problem for the others is that Fabian goes fast, even on his own. We know that and it's a bonus to have. We know he can go from far away, too, so we use this as part of our strategy. Not many riders can do that."