Gianni Bugno surmised that in order to beat Boonen at the TOUR OF FLANDERS, he would have set the final sprint up a bit differently than the one undergone by Pozzato (and Gianni probably would have won it).
Only with a LONG PROGRESSION SPRINT, forcing Tom to a prolonged effort "side by side", could Pippo have gotten the win - surely not by trying to get out of the wheel of a much faster sprinter with less than 200m to the finish line.
Boonen had in fact seemed to suffer quite a bit on the last two muurs: already on the third passage on the Oude Kwaremont, but especially on the Paterberg, he barely kept the wheels of Ballan and Pozzato (both lighter than him).
Tom's pedaling was oobviously less fluid in comparison to that of the two Italians, especially Pozzato's.
Filippo, lean and focused, after the unfortunate abandon of Cancellara, seemed to be the strongest of the aspirants to the victory, with his impeccable position on the bike and very effective pedaling on the cobblestone climbs.
Maybe with a bit more corageous sprint he could have taken the race, one that long deserves to be included in his palmares.
Tom Boonen, after Gent-Wevelgem and Flanders, won his fourth PARIS-ROUBAIX with a solo flight over 50 km.
Seizing the incredible opportunity offered him by the tactics of Pozzato and Ballan (the only ones who could possibly resist attached to his wheel), Tom devoured the final 50km opposed by a strong wind at 42.5 km/h.
In a mainly flat course race, his extraordinary aerobic power (I remember of a VO2max value of his recorded at 6.6 l/min at the age of 20) usually allows him to be far superior to his opponents, with the exception perhaps of Cancellara...
A perfect distribution of lactacid effort for Enrico Gasparotto on the Cauberg allowed him to deservedly win this year's AMSTEL GOLD RACE, whereas Joaquim Rodriguez decidely took over the victory at the FLECHE WALLONNE, riding the last kilometer in 2'56", quite far from Gilbert's record (2'40" in 2011) and his own performance last year (2'43").
The LIEGE-BASTOGNE-LIEGE reminded everyone how important it is to manage the TANK in such long and hard races, made even harder by the rain and the cold.
The courageous Vincenzo Nibali surely knows what I am talking about: author of an impressive attack on the second part of the Roche aux Fauchons, 18 km from the finish, he did manage to accumulate some more time in the descent and flat, scoring about 40" with 10 kilometers to go.
On the following climb of Saint-Nicolas, Rodriguez and Iglinskiy were chasing 30" behind . And dropped by a few further seconds were Gilbert, Gasparotto, Voeckler, Vanendert.
Then, in a matter of a few hundred meters Gilbert and Rodriguez ran out of gas, while Nibali at the front started to show signs of running out of fuel too.
Maxim Iglinskiy took notice of it, maintaining a good pace, stadily gaining ground on the leader, eventually coming over the top only 10" after Vincenzo.
With just 1200m from the finish, Nibali, while trying to resist, finally gave up and exploded (16" behind the winner): when you run out of muscle glycogen, speed drops drastically and irreversibly.