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107th Paris-Roubaix – HIS

France, April 12, 2009

Boonen’s magical third!

By Brecht Decaluwé in Roubaix

Tom Boonen rode his way into history with a magnificent third victory in Paris-Roubaix thanks to an uncanny ability to avoid crashes in the critical final kilometres. He joined fellow Belgians Eddy Merckx, Johan Museeuw and Rik Val Looy on the list of riders who have won the “Hell of the North” three times.

The Quick Step star was in a lead group of six favourites which included a surprise appearance by Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam), along with Leif Hoste, Johan Vansummeren (Silence-Lotto), Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha). The six worked together until an unbelievable string of events unfolded with 30km to go which clearly demonstrated Boonen was riding under a lucky star.

“I didn’t see Thor crash,” Boonen said. “This was a fantastic win. It wasn’t easy, with riders like Flecha and the Lottos in the break.”

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