Tom Boonen’s emphatic solo victory in the 2012 Paris-Roubaix proved his mastery of this season’s northern Classics.
A record breaking four victories in a single season from each of the ‘cobbled Classics’ (E3 Harelbeke, Gent Wevelgem, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, and Paris-Roubaix) proved that he is back to his brilliant best.
Another record came courtesy of a second Ronde-Roubaix double in a single season. Boonen won both races for the first time in 2005.
And by recording a fourth victory in Paris-Roubaix, adding to those recorded in 2005, 2008, and 2009, Boonen matched Roger De Vlaeminck’s quartet of victories from 1972, 1974, 1975, and 1977.
Where position does Boonen hold now in the list of the all-time great Classics riders? History will decide.
Here are the key moments from the 2012 Paris-Roubaix, captured through the lens of World Tour photographer, Stefano Sirotti.
Tom Boonen rode the final 50km of the 2012 Paris-Roubaix alone, dropping teammate Niki Terpstra to prove himself the strongest of Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Classics strongmen
Sebastian Turgot and Alessandro Ballan contested an impossibly close finish. Race judges awarded second place to Turgot
Team Sky’s Juan Antonio Flecha spearheaded a strong performance by the British team, finishing fourth to record a seventh top-10 finish in eight years
Niki Terpstra played a key role in support of Boonen, helping to establish a breakaway with his team leader and disrupting the attacks of rivals when he could no longer match his pace
Bouquets for Turgot and Ballan, but Boonen deservedly holds the coveted cobble trophy