How The Race Was Won – Paris-Roubaix 2010

Apr 12 2010

I never want to call Roubaix boring, but this year’s Hell of the North felt uncomfortably similar to a non-2003 Armstrong TdF win. That said, there’s plenty of action to run through, including but not limited to another fantastic Cancellara bike change, two dog incursions, a poorly-timed feed, and more arm flailing than one of those air-powered tube displays.

[right-click for iTunes-compatible download]

(Contains many photos to which I do not own the rights, and footage from Sport+.)

For those who are asking, yes, I do plan to make more videos going forward, and yes, I do have footage from some other races this spring—namely, KBK, Gent-Wevelgem, and (maybe) Flanders. I have been especially busy this month because I am preparing to leave my current job at the end of May. Come June I anticipate having plenty of time on my hands.

Also, if anyone has any hints on better quality footage, these videos would come out much nicer. I would (and have) gladly paid for Cycling.TV, but I have no intention of giving them $100 until they can start scheduling races more than four days in advance.

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26 Responses to “How The Race Was Won – Paris-Roubaix 2010”

  1. David 12 April 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    Cosmo. Thanks for that recap. Tongue in cheek comments most appreciated. And … no mention of Lance. No offence to Lance, but when BobPhilPaul use the name like a conjunction … you know.

    Great recap. I guess stopping to do a line of coke mid-race of was no help to Boonen. Way to go Fabian.

  2. Tom 12 April 2010 at 8:12 pm #

  3. Carlo 13 April 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Cosmo – spot on mix of fact and infotainment, keep it up.

  4. snakeboat 13 April 2010 at 12:22 am #

    Thanks much Cosmo. You’re doing the world a great service here… 😉

  5. Jim 13 April 2010 at 12:31 am #

    Good job with the historicals and clear eye, but please clean up your pronunciations–they distract from what you’re trying to do.

  6. benDE 13 April 2010 at 4:05 am #

    Mr. Cosmo, great once again. Love watching you develop your style. If i sent you the video of my CAT XVII race last week could you also do a HTRWW for said piece? Cheers!

  7. Jake 13 April 2010 at 9:35 am #

    These are absolutely great, Cosmo. Please keep it up. VS could learn a thing or 2 (hundred) from you.

  8. tommy romunski 13 April 2010 at 10:49 am #


    ‘the rough surface forces the faster riders to ride at the front’. that was how the race was won, bicycling magazine edition for JONGS!

    next time, don’t spend hours of your life making a video when all you have to do is post a huge picture of Cancellara with the headline:

    HTRWW, this guy rode much faster than everyone else.

  9. cosmo 13 April 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    @tommy romunski—what happens if Cancellara flats after Arenburg without five teammates holding things up at the front of the field? That’s how Hincapie’s Roubaix ended last year.

    Even if every other contender didn’t go straight to the front to throw a dagger into Cancellara the second he dropped back—which I assure you they would have—a higher pace would have made the field smaller to begin with, meaning a longer chase after the change.

    It’s significant that the longer, more frequent cobbled sections, rather than a concerted chase by any one team, were the decisive factor in brining the breakaway back. It meant more rest for the favorites, and a bigger, less select group.

    I doubt Boonen slides back for a snack in a six-man bunch, and I guarantee you Cance has a much harder time getting up to speed without the distraction and difficulty organizing a reaction you get with a larger group.

    Obviously, Cancellara was the strongest guy on the day. But if it were just about being strong, they’d set everyone up side-by-side on trainers. Saxo did a fantastic job of controlling the race to set up Cance, while Boonen’s momentary lapse and the uncooperativeness of the chase were as instrumental to his escape as the massive wattage Spartacus can sustain for 50km.

  10. Timothy Day 13 April 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Great coverage as always, Cosmo. Keep at it.

  11. Gunnar 13 April 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Great as always, thank you.

  12. joe 13 April 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I love all of these

  13. mindtron 13 April 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    “passed by a Euskatel guy on the cobbles” comment made me laugh out loud.

    great job as always.

  14. TommyJim 13 April 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Tommy R. is an idiot. Jim is too!!!!! If you don’t appreciate it shut up.

  15. tommy"da tool" romunski 13 April 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    I know. I am showing that I don’t know wtf i’m talking about. I really do like Bicycling magazine. I get all my training tips and what way is the best way to wear a camel back while on my tri bike. It just sucks I will never understand what racing is really all about. I learn from watching the very informative Versus channel recaps of a race that gives you no real feel for a race.

    Forgive my ignorance,

    “Da Tool” Romunski

  16. Oliver 13 April 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    My take on the race: too much was made of the “super” performance of FC.
    The media love that: and now the race is summarized by an endless replay of FC’s attack.
    But let’s not forget that earlier in the race Tom Boonen tried to attack on numerous occasions — to no avail. I think that where the race was — if not won, at least lost.

  17. Slowrider 13 April 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Absolutely the best recap I have read/watched. I laughed out loud a couple of times, but the “passed by a Euskatel guy on the cobbles” was pure genius. Keep this stuf coming!! ROCKS!!

  18. Rob 13 April 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    Thanks Cosmo, well done as always.

  19. MattD 13 April 2010 at 11:11 pm #


    you spent the time watching it, crafting up a post complaining about his work, monitoring the thread for a response, then trying to come up with some sort of witty retort at the people making fun of you.

    Any you tell Cosmo not to spend hours of his life on something. At least he’s got a pretty video to show for it.

  20. Patrick 13 April 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Nice. Fun. Enlightening. But that reverb on your voice…. try one with more high-frequency roll-off. It sounds like you’re speaking in an empty moon-church.

    Or just speak 18″ from the mic and allow the room you’re actually in to lend its sound.

    Your dartmouth digital musics friend,

  21. Steve Chilcott 14 April 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    Just have to stay on cancellara’s wheel and… ahhh… tom…. oooo thats not good…

    I love it! Was cracking up laughing in the office (with strange looks coming from other desks)

    Great video, nice wrap up


  22. rainbow 15 April 2010 at 12:15 am #

    This race was a forgone conclusion, more to the point who won the F*^3$n BINGO?

  23. John 15 April 2010 at 9:35 am #

    hilarious burn on david mellar, keep bringing the htrww

  24. Psychlist 15 April 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Thanks Cosmo, i enjoyed that a lot.

    I don’t think Flecha was clapping at being happy with a podium spot. i think it was an sarcastic clap at Hushovd for sprinting by him when Big Thor sat on Flecha’s wheel for the best part of the chase, not pulling through because he had ‘cramps’.

    Flecha has finished on the podium before. He shouldn’t be happy with 3rd.

  25. Jim 15 April 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    You are too clever for words, apparently.

    Again, good job Cosmo.

  26. Rider Council 14 June 2011 at 8:57 am #

    I know I’m late and all that but could you please make a better effort to pronounce riders names a bit better. No excuse these days with live streaming etc. There is no such person named cansellara.

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