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Cancellara powers to Paris Roubaix glory

Fabian Cancellara powers clear of the field to win the Paris-Roubaix cycling classic.
Fabian Cancellara powers clear of the field to win the Paris-Roubaix cycling classic.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fabian Cancellara wins cycling's Hell of the North with solo breakaway ride
  • Cancellara completes spring classics double having won Tour of Flanders
  • Reigning Paris Roubaix champion Tom Boonen finishes out of podium places
  • Norway's Thor Hushovd beats Juan Antonio Flecha of Spain for second place
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(CNN) -- Swiss star Fabian Cancellara rode clear of the leading group to win the Paris Roubaix cycling classic on Sunday and complete a rare double having claimed the Tour of Flanders earlier this spring.

The 'Hell of the North' is traditionally an event for the strongmen of the sport who have to negotiate 27 sections of cobblestones and the reigning Olympic time trial champion perfectly fits the bill.

He made his move on the 10th from last section of pave at Mons-en-Pevele, about 45km from the finish in the velodrome at Roubaix, quickly chasing down a small breakaway group before opening up a winning gap.

Defending champion Tom Boonen of Belgium and the other leading contenders fatally hesitated in their efforts to chase down Saxo Bank's Cancellara and their race was over.

Cancellera crossed the line alone for his second Paris-Roubaix win and only the 10th man to complete the double with Flanders.

Norwegian Thor Hushovd beat Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha for the runners-up spot in a sprint finish, the pair having finally given chase to Cancellara but too little too late.

Last week Cancellara became the first Swiss since Heiri Suter in 1923 to win at Flanders.

Cancellara was winning his fourth major one-day classic with Milan-San Remo in 2006, two at Paris-Roubaix (2006 and 2010) and this year's Tour of Flanders.

I knew that with my form and the way the last weeks were going I would be difficult to catch once I took a 10 meter lead, that they would be scared," Cancellara told AFP at the finish of the 259km race.