Belgian cyclist Johan van Summeren has won the Paris-Roubaix classic for the first time after breaking away near the end and holding on for an unexpected victory.
Two-time Swiss winner Fabian Cancellara finished second but was unable to catch Van Summeren despite a powerful late charge. Dutchman Maarten Tjallingii was third.
Van Summeren completed the 258-kilometre trek in six hours, seven minutes, 28 seconds. Cancellara and Tjallingii were 19 seconds back. The race, famed for its treacherous cobblestones sections, saw several spectacular crashes.
With defending champion Cancellara, three-time champion Tom Boonen, last year's runner-up Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Ballan wearing themselves out to catch the front group, Van Summeren tried his luck and broke away with 13 kilometres left.
Van Summeren took advantage of his rivals’ fatigue, with Cancellara at one stage complaining to Ballan and Hushovd for not working hard enough to bring back the front group.
swissinfo.ch and agencies