Double Paris-Roubaix winner Sean Kelly comments on this year's edition of the race, won by Tom Boonen on Sunday after he attacked in the final 55km.
"It was a great race. It was a surprising tactic by Boonen that he took the risk at 50km from the finish because it could be dangerous if it didn't work out. But in that group there was no-one going to do any riding with them, and everybody was going to try to attack, so what do you do?
"You attack like Boonen and you see who's with you and if it's working. For Boonen there was a time where I was a little bit scared, when the gap was hanging at around 40 seconds and it could have been dangerous. But he was unbelievably strong, and the rider can make the calculation on the day. If you feel so good, then you know you can take that risk.
"Sky did a good job. The only thing is, I don't understand why Sky didn't use the two riders together. They used Stannard, he rode and rode at the front and then he went out the rear door. And then they had Hayman who started riding. They were just using one and leaving them time trialling on the front of the group.
"If I was directing I'd say, ‘ok guys stop, we're not carrying everyone to the finish.' Rabobank had Wynants there and he never did anything. OK, Boom is riding for a place but Wynants has to ride. Sometimes you have to call bluff and say we're not doing it.
"Boonen did say it was a pity to lose Cancellara but if I was in Boonen's shoes last week I would be happy. I know it's hard to say it, but I think deep down there was some little bit of happiness there that Cancellara went out because today Boonen certainly wouldn't have had it as easy as he had. But that's racing: one man's bad luck is another man's good luck."
Boonen completes dream classics run with Roubaix win
Boonen wins 2012 Paris-Roubaix with unstoppable solo attack
Paris-Roubaix 2012 photo gallery
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Richard Abraham is an award-winning writer, based in New Zealand. He has reported from major sporting events including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, and is also a part-time travel guide who has delivered luxury cycle tours and events across Europe. In 2019 he was awarded Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards.
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