Veteran Hayman denies Boonen to take Paris-Roubaix win

Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:53am EDT
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By Julien Pretot

ROUBAIX, France (Reuters) - Australian veteran Mathew Hayman deprived Tom Boonen of a record-breaking fifth Paris-Roubaix title when he won the Queen of the Classics on Sunday after the leading favorites got trapped behind a big crash.

The Orica-GreenEDGE rider, 37, outsprinted Belgian Boonen on the final bend of the Roubaix velodrome as British rider Ian Stannard took third place at the end of a crash-ridden 257.5-km ride featuring 52.8 km of cobbled sectors.

Pre-race favorites Peter Sagan, the world champion, and Fabian Cancellara, who was gunning for a fourth title, effectively lost the race when they found themselves on the wrong end of a bunch split after a massive pile-up some 115km from the line.

Swiss Cancellara later crashed on the wet cobbles and finished more than seven minutes behind Hayman on his last Paris-Roubaix before retiring at the end of the season.

"I can't believe it, I broke my arm five weeks ago and missed all the racing, I just raced a race in Spain last week," said Hayman, whose best previous result in the race was eighth place in 2012.

"This is my favorite race but this year I didn't even dare to dream."

Hayman was in the day's breakaway and when the big guns caught the group he managed to keep with them. Despite a late mechanical problem, he stayed among the five riders who went on to contest the victory.

Boonen attacked with 2.7km left but Hayman followed and countered, only for the 2005 world champion to rejoin him. The Australian, however, was the stronger on the final sprint.   Continued...