Such is Tom Boonen's grip on the 2012 classics season that he's now in over 60% of 3,300 the teams currently in the road.cc Fantasy Cycling game. And he's rewarded that support with another superb victory, this time soloing to the Roubaix velodrome from over 50km out to take a fourth Paris-Roubaix title.
Just having Boonen's 50 points was a start but it takes more than that to win a stage. What you need is some other big finishers and your domestiques chipping in with points too. So step forward Team Leahy, who not only had Belgium's finest but also third-placed Alessandro Ballan and Juan Antonio Flecha, who was fourth. Oh, and fifth-placed Niki Terpstra. Paolini, Rast and Van Summeren also picked up points for a top 20 finish and to cap it off they also picked Bernie Eisel, who rolled in last for a 10-point bonus.
That made a grand total of 170 points, the best classics haul so far and a Paris-Roubaix win. Team Guerra were just off the pace in second place with 167, and there was a three-way tie for third between Festina, TeamPurito and The Terrible Tourists, all on 163.
In the Spring Classics league a very solid 152 points from Pangbourne Pedallers was enough for a 5-place jump to the top of the table, replacing tts bristol who didn't have such a good day at the office, netting 90 and dropping eight places to ninth. Serial performers Polski Grifter Club are up in second, with Threeleggedtoad third. In the Purists, the amusingly-named Pukey Otter take over from V is for Victory at the top of the Classics league, with 110 points on the day.
Next up is the Amstel Gold Race, on Sunday, and it's time to move away from the cobbles to the Ardennes Classics. The Amstel is 260km of hard parcours, with over 30 climbs to sort out the men from the boys. Philippe Gilbert has won the last two but he hasn't been in form so far this season; will this be the turning point? Or will Boonen continue his imperious run? Time will tell. The provisonal* startlist is now on the site, good luck with your transfers! It's an unlimited transfer window so even the purists get to have a shake-up. Choose wisely.
*there'll be changes between now and Sunday, so keep checking back
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.