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Kiss the cobbles
April 12, 2009 5:31 AM   Subscribe

The Paris-Roubaix is about to start. With an average of two punctures and one prang per competitor this a an exciting bike race.
posted by tellurian (60 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Woah! We have a big crash and we haven't entered the first cobblestone section.
posted by tellurian at 5:52 AM on April 12, 2009


In the Forest of Arenberg now - 2.5km. A cyclist has gone into the crowd.
posted by tellurian at 6:00 AM on April 12, 2009


History
posted by tellurian at 6:11 AM on April 12, 2009


Americans can watch it on the cable Vs. network at 5:00 PM EDT. So this thread might be spoileriffic for some.

I'd link to the Vs. network website directly except it's already got a post announcing the winner.
posted by ardgedee at 6:16 AM on April 12, 2009


3.5km section of cobblestones now.
posted by tellurian at 6:17 AM on April 12, 2009


I'm going for a long ride and then watching it on VS later. I'm staying away from this dangerous thread. But it's great to see it up on the Blue!
posted by cccorlew at 6:22 AM on April 12, 2009


except it's already got a post announcing the winner.
Announcing or predicting? I'm pretty sure I'm watching it live.
And it's great.
posted by tellurian at 6:22 AM on April 12, 2009


I've got a Eurosport stream going. Quality's pretty good. I haven't seen anyone that is stupid enough to ride carbon rims this year (Hincapie, I'm looking at you).
posted by suckerpunch at 6:24 AM on April 12, 2009


I'm with you cccorlew. This is uberspoiler Paris-Roubaix.
But I'll be interested to hear your thoughts after the race.
posted by tellurian at 6:27 AM on April 12, 2009


Annnnnnd there's Hincapie's annual slice of bad fortune. Every. Single. Year.
posted by afx237vi at 6:31 AM on April 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


GODDAMN IT HINCAPIE. His back wheel, again.
posted by suckerpunch at 6:32 AM on April 12, 2009


Hincapie - first puncture. Love it. Not that I don't love the George.
Oh shit! another crash.
posted by tellurian at 6:37 AM on April 12, 2009


OMG that looks like a serious accident with one of the motorbikes going into the crowd :(
posted by afx237vi at 6:46 AM on April 12, 2009


Shit! Quiktstep really accelerated on this section of cobble. Nasty result.
posted by tellurian at 6:50 AM on April 12, 2009


Still, the peloton's close... and there goes Boonen.
posted by suckerpunch at 6:52 AM on April 12, 2009


Still, the peloton's close... and there goes Boonen.

No, Devolder. Boonen is still with the other favourites.
posted by afx237vi at 6:55 AM on April 12, 2009


Anyplace to watch it online?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:07 AM on April 12, 2009


This thread is like hockey on the radio.: surprisingly exciting.
posted by Decimask at 7:07 AM on April 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


apropos of cycling
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:09 AM on April 12, 2009


The favorite's still Boonen - he's got his lead-out man with him. I don't know Klostergard, so I'm not sure what's going on with Cancellara and Saxo Bank. Haussler's looking good...

...and Columbia's leading the peloton one minute back.
posted by suckerpunch at 7:12 AM on April 12, 2009


It's on Justin.tv here in French.

hehe I just tuned in and it showed 46.00 km left .. but the feed quality is pretty poor and I couldn't see the decimal, so I thought goddamn thats one long race.
posted by mannequito at 7:14 AM on April 12, 2009


I like this exchange from the Justin chat:

martymfla : The French seem to have a different word for everything!
Shifty77 : Don't most languages?

posted by mannequito at 7:18 AM on April 12, 2009


Next cobbles just entred No rain this year. Looks good for Hincapie. Way to play. Most excellent race.
posted by tellurian at 7:19 AM on April 12, 2009


I like Flecha. He needs to get to the velodrome alone, because he's got the world's worst sprint... but he's been close so many times before, I'd love to see him finally do it.

mannequito: It's 259 kilometres in total. It's getting to the business end now.
posted by afx237vi at 7:20 AM on April 12, 2009


WTF! Hincapie seems to be doing all the work
posted by tellurian at 7:32 AM on April 12, 2009


Ugh...Boonen off.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:36 AM on April 12, 2009


Quick bike change, and Boonen's back.
posted by suckerpunch at 7:39 AM on April 12, 2009


Big crash....Flecha falling.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:57 AM on April 12, 2009


Not much change, except for Cancellara / Saxo Bank fading. Fletcha's still rolling. 17KM to go.
posted by suckerpunch at 7:58 AM on April 12, 2009


Looks like Boonen vs Hushovd at the lead, and now Hushovd off!
posted by jimmythefish at 7:58 AM on April 12, 2009


is that Hushovd that just went down?!
posted by aheckler at 7:58 AM on April 12, 2009


Looks like my feed is behind jimmythefish's. Fletcha down.
posted by suckerpunch at 7:59 AM on April 12, 2009


Flecha crashes, Hoste crashes, Vansummeren crashes, Hushovd crashes... welcome to Paris-Roubaix.
posted by afx237vi at 7:59 AM on April 12, 2009


http://fr.justin.tv/mlf29 is the link I'm watching - French.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:01 AM on April 12, 2009


Boonen alone in front.
posted by suckerpunch at 8:02 AM on April 12, 2009


It's Boonen's to lose. He's an excellent sprinter.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:03 AM on April 12, 2009


Shoot, the justin.tv feed is down!
posted by aheckler at 8:06 AM on April 12, 2009


Yeeaaah! Go Boonen!
posted by Severian at 8:07 AM on April 12, 2009


Scratch that last, it's working again.
posted by aheckler at 8:08 AM on April 12, 2009


This feed is still working for me.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:10 AM on April 12, 2009


Boonen's flat out and gapping, now 16" lead.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:11 AM on April 12, 2009


http://www.freedocast.com/narkitu - working.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:14 AM on April 12, 2009


Boonen flying...27" lead 4.1km to go.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:16 AM on April 12, 2009


This works for text updates. narkitu feed is a bit shaky for me. Great post, btw!
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 8:19 AM on April 12, 2009


33 seconds up and still putting time on Pozatto.
posted by suckerpunch at 8:21 AM on April 12, 2009


Boonen takes it. Great post, thanks.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:22 AM on April 12, 2009


Chapeau to Boonen... already a cycling legend at 28 years old.

Update from British Eurosport on the incident with the motorbike: 11 spectators were hurt, and apparently 3 are quite seriously injured. Hopefully they'll be okay.
posted by afx237vi at 8:25 AM on April 12, 2009


That motorbike crash was horrible to watch. I hope everyone will come out of it good.

That's Boonen's third win in the Roubaix, which ties him in total victories with one French rider, one Italian rider... and five other Belgian riders. DANG, BELGIUM. JUST, DANG.
posted by suckerpunch at 8:27 AM on April 12, 2009


For those interested: you can watch the classical spring races live on sporza.be (probably the Tour de France too).
posted by NekulturnY at 8:30 AM on April 12, 2009


What? No Lance Armstrong again this year?

And next year Boonen can tie de Vlaeminck's record. Even Merckx only had 3 wins.
posted by grounded at 8:36 AM on April 12, 2009


Can't wait to watch it this afternoon! I was reading something the other day talking about how technology has made it so instead of repairing 100 flats on race day most teams only fix 20!

20 flats during one race. Insane.
posted by photoslob at 8:55 AM on April 12, 2009


That's 20 flats per team. Eight riders per team. An average of two to three flats per rider.

A team has a time advantage simply by averaging one to two flats per rider. So it surprises me that Hincapie knocked himself out of contention just by flatting.
posted by ardgedee at 4:05 PM on April 12, 2009


Hincapie punctured at the worst possible time and had the worst possible assistance. The race had just got serious and the big favourites were attacking hard into the pavé sections. Not only that, he had no team car near him and had to rely on the neutral service moto to give him a spare wheel. They took an absolute age to change his wheel.

Compare his puncture to Boonen's, which happened on a tarmac section. He had the Quick Step car right next to him, and he simply switched bikes, which took a few seconds.

Whether George had the legs to feature later on is debatable (I doubt it really), but he was very unlucky to flat when he did.
posted by afx237vi at 4:18 PM on April 12, 2009


> Whether George had the legs to feature later on is debatable

Yeah. I doubt it too. Poor guy's probably never going to get a fair chance in the race. It's one thing to do your best and rate on your own merits, but a series of poor finishes due to mechanicals is worse. And further attempts are going to be increasingly compromised by his age.

The American broadcaster edited out most of the details of Hincapie's flat, making it look like he got back up fairly quickly only to be trapped by the back of the peloton on a narrow section of the course. They made up for it with a pre-race interview where he explained that last year's disaster (his bike's steerer tube broke, leading to a couple seconds of him waving his handlebars in the air before falling over) was exacerbated by his team car being at the rear of the support fleet, and it seems to have happened again.

This was the first time I'd watched the race, and I was amused to see spectators lining the course brandishing spare wheels as riders passed.
posted by ardgedee at 6:56 PM on April 12, 2009


What?! Only one favourite on this thread? Let me make that two.
posted by Decimask at 7:20 PM on April 12, 2009


The guys with the spare wheels are usually volunteers linked to a certain team. Often they're employees or friends of the team's sponsors. On some sections there's one every 100m! Less romantic than just random bystanders, though I've known it to happen that a bystander lends a wheel from his own (amateur) racing bicycle.
posted by LVdB at 5:30 AM on April 13, 2009


Eurosport mentioned yesterday that one of the guys doing roadside wheel-duty for Caisse d'Epargne was Oscar Pereiro (2006 Tour de France champion). Now that's what I call team-work!
posted by afx237vi at 5:37 AM on April 13, 2009


Gorgeous George. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
posted by fixedgear at 12:58 PM on April 13, 2009


This is worth a watch: 2009 Paris-Roubaix, How the Race Was Won.
posted by afx237vi at 1:26 PM on April 13, 2009


Not my favorite edition ever, but a fine race nonetheless. I really wanted to see a Hushovd-Boonen drag race down the black tape. Cyclingnews was oddly certain that a sprint matchup would result in a victory for the Norwegian. I'm not into prognosticating this race, not even to make the presumably safe bet that George Hincapie will never gain the top step of that particular podium; but it does seem with the twin onsets of middle age (for a sprinter) and the insane talent that is Mark Cavendish that Tommy B is moving ever further from defining himself as a sprinter and more into the role of rouleur, which, frankly, is my kinda guy. Of course, Cav just snatched up Milan-San Remo a few weeks back, so maybe he'll follow Boonen into classics specialization and twist his tail in that realm, as well.
And Big George -- jesus -- someone needs to pick up on the altered-Peanuts meme that popped up on the Blue recently and make one that portrays Hincapie as Charlie Brown and the Roubaix itself as Lucy, only instead of pulling a football away at the last second she's placing a loose cobble under his wheel. Or snapping his steerer. Or something. It could be a series, every year a new bike jersey...
posted by $0up at 3:00 PM on April 13, 2009


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