After a fairly docile first two thirds of the race, marked only by a crash claiming one of the possible contenders in Garmin-Transitions rider Tyler Farrar, Boonen lit the cobbles ablaze after clearing the treacherous sector through the Arenberg Forest. As the saying goes you can't win Roubaix in Arenberg, but plenty have lost it there.
Boonen surged like a raging bull in 3 consecutive savage attacks to whittle down the lead pack from some 40 riders to a paltry 12 or so in just 20km of racing. But these 12 were no ordinary riders. They eventually would be the top 12 of the race. And calmly hiding amongst them was an uber confident Swiss man known to the Peloton as Spartacus.
After smashing the field Boonen decided to take in a "Schmoke and a pancackhe" before he finished them off. That's when Spartacus, like the ruthless and cunning Gladiator he's named after, pounced. His enemy was at their weakest point.
With 40km still to ride Fabien 'Spartacus' Cancellara surged off the front of the race like it was standing still. Boonen was the only man with the guile to mount the challenge to pull Cancellara back, while still chugging down the offending carbohydrates.
Before long Cancellara put 3 minutes into the hardest men of cycling......over the cobbles of Roubaix!!! It was then very apparent the race was on for second and third.
Fabian Cancellara - Undisputed King of the cobbles in 2010.
Trying hard as ever, but Boonen's horse had long bolted.
"God of Thunder" Thor Hushovd and an unexpected but fantastic ride by Spainiard Juan Antonio Flecha made up the minor placings. Boonen buried himself for most of the race but by the end he was only able to muster 5th out of pure exhaustion. Unjust reward for an impressive display of courage.
The podium for 2010 Hell of the North. Hushovd, Cancellara and Flecha (L to R)