Somehow through a mispelling ("Robaix"), my blog is getting hella hits for people looking for the Hincapie crash info. I think I am number one in the google search for
"hincapie robaix". Right on, riches will soon follow, you can't BUY that kind of publicity.
Check it out Hincapie Crashing in Paris-Roubaix from OLN's site, which may or may not be up for eternety.
Ouch. Pretty good that he did not stack immediately upon the steerer snapping off. Looks like he had at least a couple of seconds of no-hands and no bar riding, followed by no hands, no bars and one foot, before he rolls off road a bit and pile drivers over the bars. Ouch, broken shoulder, surgery and a 6-10 weeks on the trainer probably. A bit similar (too similar?) to Hincapie going into the ditch in Robaix in 2002 while a very young Boonen, then riding for Hincapie's postal team, rode on to his first podium placing in a classic.
Hinky was NOT riding a carbon steerer, it was an aluminum one. See here for the cyclingnews preview on Hinky's bike. Much has been made over Trek not giving the guy the right equipment, why not a steel one? It is all a canard, there were probably plenty of people riding carbon steerers and carbon wheels, and other even more dodgy equipment. George crashed earlier in the race, probably damaging the bike a bit and then it failed later. Bad luck, probably should have changed bikes, but they did not, although they allegedly were planning on it (under the heading "Trek to examine Hincapie's Fork"). Same could have happened with a steel or carbon fork, really. If you have a crash initiated crack that is hidden it is free to go to failure undetected. Al, Carbon or Steel the final bit of the steer tube cracking will be catastrophic and then you have Hincapie crashing in a ditch again.
I love the end of the video showing Boonen going absolutely nuts on the front after Hincapie crashed. Think he was a bit worried about Hincapie? Maybe that is why he had no juice left in the final miles when cancellara and hoste attacked? With no teamates left, maybe he wanted to get rid of the other sprinter with Paris-Roubaix skills and hope for a bunch gallop on the velodrome.
Boonen was rewarded with a DQ enhanced second place, but in reality, Discovery finally turned the tables on Quickstep putting Hoste in second and Gusev in fourth ahead of Boonen's preDQ fifth. It was a wild wild race, and probably would have been even wilder with Hincapie still in the mix.
Crashes, cobbles and bad luck are what make Paris Robaix one of the most exciting races on the calendar. You must be stronk like ox and lucky to boot to get it done.
To quote the Disco team's mechanic, "The cobbles do not discriminate". Although they do seem to love them the Boonen.