ROUBAIX, France (VN) — Fédéric Guesdon’s final pro race ended with an asterisk of sorts as he was among 27 riders who finished beyond the time cut in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.
Guesdon matched George Hincapie (BMC Racing) in making a record-breaking 17th Roubaix start, but he will not get an official result on his palmarès in what will be his final day in the saddle.
Bernhard Eisel (Sky) was the final classified rider in 86th, at 17:17 behind Tom Boonen. David Boucher (FDJ) was the first eliminated rider in 87th, at 18:21, barely a minute behind Eisel. Guesdon crossed the line 88th, at 18:52 back, meaning he reached the velodrome, but not fast enough to satisfy the time cut rules.
Among others missing the time cut were Juraj Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), older brother of Peter Sagan; Jack Bauer, making his Roubaix debut for Garmin-Barracuda, and Luke Roberts (Saxo Bank).
The final rider missing the cut was Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil-DCM), 113th at 29:44 back.
Race organizers insist on imposing tough time-cut rules despite Roubaix being one of the hardest one-day races of the year. Without another race to start the next day, many wonder why the race jury imposes such restrictions on what is one of the most demanding events on the pro calendar.
The brutal pace of Roubaix forced 83 DNFs, just three shy of the 86 official finishers. Among the top names pulling out were pre-race favorite Filippo Pozzato along with five other Farnese Vini-Selle Italia eammates. Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) and Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol) were among the other notable DNFs.