Schlagwort-Archive: Paris-Tours

Paris – Tours 2021 plus U23

U23 177km:

1 HVIDEBERG Jonas Iversby NOR UNO-X PRO CYCLING TEAM 03:57:32
2 VAN UDEN Casper NED DEVELOPMENT TEAM DSM 00:28
3 VAN DEN BERG Marijn NED GROUPAMA-FDJ CONTI 00:28
4 PARET-PEINTRE Valentin FRA AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM 00:28
5 COSTIOU Ewen FRA CÔTES D’ARMOR-MARIE MORIN 00:28
6 JOHANSEN Julius DEN UNO-X PRO CYCLING TEAM 00:28
7 DAUPHIN Florian FRA V.C.PAYS DE LOUDÉAC 00:28
8 VAN VEENENDAAL Hidde NED JUMBO-VISMA DT 00:28
9 DE LIE Arnaud BEL LOTTO SOUDAL U23 00:28
10 DE MEESTER Luca BEL EFC – L&R – VULSTEKE 00:28
11 BERCKMOES Jenno BEL HOME SOLUTION-SOENENS 00:28
12 URIANSTAD Martin NOR UNO-X PRO CYCLING TEAM 00:28
13 KNOLLE Jon GER GERMANY 00:28
14 LECLAINCHE Gwen FRA C.C.ETUPES 00:28
15 JEGAT Jordan FRA TEAM UC NANTES – ATLANTIQUE 00:28

ELITE 212km:

1 DEMARE Arnaud FRA GROUPAMA – FDJ 04:33:07
2 BONNAMOUR Franck FRA B&B HOTELS P/B KTM 00:00
3 STUYVEN Jasper BEL TREK – SEGAFREDO 00:00
4 DEWULF Stan BEL AG2R CITROËN TEAM 00:03
5 VAN POPPEL Danny NED INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:40
6 COQUARD Bryan FRA B&B HOTELS P/B KTM 00:40
7 MARIT Arne BEL SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE 00:40
8 PASQUALON Andrea ITA INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:40
9 TRARIEUX Julien FRA DELKO 00:40
10 CAPIOT Amaury BEL TEAM ARKÉA SAMSIC 00:40
11 VAN HOECKE Gijs BEL AG2R CITROËN TEAM 00:40
12 PHILIPSEN Jasper BEL ALPECIN-FENIX 00:40
13 LEROUX Samuel FRA XELLISS – ROUBAIX LILLE MÉTROPOLE 00:40
14 TABELLION Valentin FRA XELLISS – ROUBAIX LILLE MÉTROPOLE 00:40
15 ALLEGAERT Piet BEL COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CRÉDITS 00:40

Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) won a thrilling 115th edition of Paris-Tours on Sunday ahead of Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels p/b KTM) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo). The pace was relentless from the start, with a hard battle through the wind, and the attackers lit fireworks on the vineyard trails leading to Tours. Among them, Bonnamour was still alone in the front with San Dewulf as they entered the last kilometre… But Démare, after a strong attack on the final climb of the day, produced a massive effort to bridge the gap and dominate the four-man sprint. He is the first French winner of Paris-Tours since 2006, when Frédéric Guesdon claimed victory. Today, Guesdon was in perfect position to enjoy Démare’s win, as a sports director for Groupama-FDJ.

The 152-man peloton roll from Chartres just before noon. With winds blowing from the North-East and riders battling for the early breakaway, it’s a very fast start.
Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) attacks in the first kilometre. He is quickly joined by Julien Duval (AG2R-Citroën Team) but they can’t open much of a gap as the battle is ongoing.
After 15km, Rune Herregodts (Sport-Vlaanderen-Baloise), winner of Paris-Tours Espoirs in 2020, bridges the gap to the early attackers. The break eventually gets away, with a lead of 2’30’’ at km 18.

Hard battles in the wind
Groupama-FDJ put the hammer down through the wind and the peloton splits in several parts. Calm returns at km 30 and the gap hits a maximum of 7’30’’ after a very fast first hour of racing (47.1km covered by the attackers).
Several teams (Team DSM, Alpecin-Fenix, Team TotalEnergies, St Michel – Auber 93…) work together to control the breakaway. The gap is down to 3’30’’ when a new acceleration in the bunch turns the race upside down into the last 100km.
Only 34 riders remain in the first bunch, including the three former winners participating in this edition: Casper Pedersen and Soren Kragh Andersen for Team DSM, as well as AG2R Citroën’s Greg Van Avermaet. With such a battle through the wind, the breakaway is reeled in at km 124.

Fireworks in the vineyards
The 37 leaders hit the first vineyard track (51km to go) with a 30’’ gap to their chasers. Arkéa-Samsic try to make the most of their numbers at the front with a series of attacks. But Connor Swift suffers a puncture with 43km, after he had managed to launch a new breakaway.
Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën Team), Frederik Frison (Lotto Soudal) and Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels p/b KTM) remain at the front. Riders previously dropped get back together and Jasper Stuyven’s Trek-Segafredo try to control.


Photo by Plomi

Impressive Démare
Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) attacks again and again until a group of six chasers get away with 16km to go. Among them, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) drop their rivals on the final climb of the day, the côte de Rochecorbon.
With 10km to go to Tours, without any vineyard track left ahead, they’re only 8’’ behind the leading duo. They held on… until Arnaud Démare produced a strong effort inside the last kilometre. Bonnamour and Dewulf were eventually caught with 350m to go. And Démare still had enough energy to sprint to victory.

PARIS-TOURS 2021: INFO WITH ONE DAY TO GO

Key points:
 The 115th edition of Paris-Tours, which will start from Chartres on Sunday morning, follows the same route as last year, with a 212.3 km course including nine vineyard trails in the last 51 km.
 A nice field of sprinters (Philipsen, Démare, Groenewegen), heroes of the recent Paris-Roubaix (Vermeersch, Laporte, Turgis) and three former winners are at the rendezvous of the last classic of the year.
 Defending champion Casper Pedersen promises to be “on the attack” with a strong DSM squad also featuring 2018 winner Soren Kragh Andersen.

A WINDY THRILLER
Paris-Tours is always a thriller of a race, and the 115th edition of the classic should be no exception with a cohort of classics experts (Stuyven, Laporte, Turgis…) to try and upset a strong field of sprinters (Philipsen, Démare, Groenewegen…). “We’ve found our formula and we’re repeating last year’s route, with seven climbs and nine vineyard trails in the last 50km”, race director Cédric Coutouly explains. “The trails are preceded by climbs, so the legs do the positioning. It’s hard for the teams to work well together so a lone rider doesn’t lose much time against the peloton. It will be nice weather, and the wind will blow from the North-East. So there could be a risk of echelons, but it’s coming mostly from behind so we should have a very fast start, and then, once on the trails, the wind direction will change a lot so it will be a factor.” With all these elements, “the riders who were at the front towards Roubaix should also be up there on Sunday”, Coutouly foresees. Among them, the young and talentful Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal) is looking for a maiden professional victory…

PEDERSEN : ”WE WILL BE ON THE ATTACK”
Three former winners will be at the start. Among them, AG2R-Citroën Team’s Greg Van Avermaet (winner in 2011) is a veteran of Paris-Tours, with 10 participations under his belt, but he hasn’t come since 2016 and thus doesn’t know the new format with vineyard trails. The other two former winners ride with Team DSM, with the Dane Soren Kragh Andersen (2018) and his compatriot Casper Pedersen, the defending champion, who rose to victory after Kragh Andersen suffered a crash. “We have several cards to play”, Pedersen says in 2021 as well. “I think our team is stronger than last year. We will be on the attack with classics experts such as Soren Kragh Andersen and Nils Eekhoff. And if it ends up with a sprint, we’ll ride for Cees Bol. Looking at the start-list, it may be harder this year. It will be interesting to see if sprint teams will be able to control and if sprinters can follow attacks on the climbs.”

LAPORTE: “AN ATTRACTIVE RACE”
Sixth in Paris-Roubaix and back in action this Sunday, Christophe Laporte says he took longer than usual to recover from Hell of the North and the toll it took on everyone with dire conditions. “But I’m in a good shape, I feel ready and motivated for Sunday. It’s hard to stay motivated at the end of the season, but Paris-Tours is an attractive race, it is one of the biggest in France.“ His 7th participation in the Classic of the Falling Leaves, his first in three years, will have a very special flavor. „I will really give the maximum for my last race in the Cofidis jersey“, Laporte promises as he’s set to leave the French team to join Jumbo-Visma, who come to Paris-Tours with the sprinter Dylan Groenewegen and the recent winner of the Ronde de l’Isard, Gijs Leemreize. “I expect an open race in the finale, and that’s what I like. If I feel good, I won’t wait for a sprint.”

YOUNGSTERS GET THE ACTION ROLLING
Before the pros, the famous Avenue de Grammont will be surveyed by cadets and juniors (men and women) participating in the Kilomètre de Paris-Tours, then by riders in the Under 23 category. Paris-Tours Espoirs, celebrating its 78th edition, has always revealed the talents of tomorrow. Three of the top four in last year’s edition are competing in the elite event this Sunday: Rune Herregodts (1st), Jordi Meeus (2nd) and Jason Tesson (4th). The 3rd, Florian Dauphin (VCP Loudéac), is again at the start of the U23 race, five days after a solid ride among the pros in Binche-Chimay-Binche (20th). His French compatriot Louis Barré (4th in Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs), the Norwegian Soren Waerenskjold (winner of two stages of the Tour de l’Avenir) and the Belgian Arnaud De Lie (winner Friday of the 2nd stage of the Circuit des Ardennes) count among the main favorites who will try to succeed Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Tony Gallopin and Mike Teunissen on the Paris-Tours Espoirs winners list. The race will start from Bonneval and follow the last 177 kilometers of the professional race.

ALL EYES AND CAMERAS ON PARIS-TOURS
The 115th edition of Paris-Tours enjoys increased coverage with 25 broadcasters making the race available for the fans in 190 territories. The last 1h50 of action will be broadcasted live. Highlights are also available through news agencies and dedicated cycling media, as well as on the official website of the race and on its social media. The first images of the day will be broadcasted on Facebook and Twitter with the team presentation (from 10 AM) and the first pedal strokes as the peloton rolls from Chartres (11:40).

Paris-Tours 2021 – The heroes are ready for more

Key points:

 The 115th edition of Paris-Tours, which starts on Sunday morning in Chartres at 11.40 am, will be contested on a 212.3 km course, including nine vineyard paths in the last 50 km, for a total of 9.5 km.
 Among the contenders for the title, former winners like Casper Pedersen, Soren Kragh Andersen, and Greg Van Avermaet will have to contend with one of the heroes of Paris-Roubaix, Florian Vermeersch (2nd), who showed what he is capable of in his first participation.

They want more. Less than a week after a historic edition of Paris-Roubaix moved to the autumn for the first time, the classics season ends this weekend with Paris-Tours and presents itself in this unprecedented calendar as an ideal opportunity for redemption and revenge. After the Flemish cobbles of the World Championships and the slippery cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, it is on the vineyard trails that have been part of the programme of the classic for the past three years that the champions will battle it out. And they are not just any champions! Florian Vermeersch excelled in Leuven, finishing on the U23 time-trial podium before he rode another stellar race on the cobbled sectors and then at the Roubaix velodrome, where he came close to becoming the youngest winner of the modern era (2nd). Hungry for more, the 22-year-old could get his first professional victory before the end of this season. To do that, he will have to surprise or dominate some of last Sunday’s standouts, which include Christophe Laporte (6th), Tom Van Asbroeck (8th), Anthony Turgis (13th), Sep Vanmarcke (23rd), Jasper Stuyven (25th and winner of this year’s Milan-San Remo). Or some big names who didn’t do well, like Arnaud Démare and Stefan Küng with Groupama-FDJ and Greg Van Avermaet in the AG2R-Citroën Team jersey, who is a former Paris-Tours and Paris-Roubaix winner!

Two riders who have been able to exploit the vineyard roads, the defending race winner, Casper Pedersen from Denmark and his compatriot-teammate Soren Kragh Andersen, will also be among the favourites for the win. There are also serious candidates who did not take part in this year’s edition of Paris-Roubaix. That is the case for Valentin Madouas, who was in good form in the Classic Loire Atlantique (2nd) after participating in the conquest of Julian Alaphilippe’s rainbow jersey and sprinters Pascal Ackermann, Nacer Bouhanni, Danny van Poppel (winner of Binche-Chimay-Binche) and Bryan Coquard.

Paris-Tours Espoirs: riders to watch

In its current form as a classic for the under 23s, Paris-Tours Espoirs is celebrating its 25th anniversary. And among the riders who have followed Franck Perque on the list of winners are world champions, namely Thor Hushovd (1998 winner) and Tom Boonen (2000); Tour de France stage winners like Samuel Dumoulin (2001), Tony Gallopin (2008), Mike Teunissen (2014) and Jasper Philipsen (2017); and a Paris-Tours elite winner, Jelle Wallays (2010). No one knows how successful the contenders for this 79th edition will be in a few years, but some already have impressive credentials. British rider Askey Lewis, who finished 5th in this year’s World Championships, is already a favourite, as is Danish rider Johan Price-Petjersen, who last month won the World and European time trial championships. Outsiders like Louis Barré, 4th on Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs and 7th in the European championships, or Valentin Retailleau, who won a stage in the recent Tour de Bretagne, will also be watched closely.

Main contenders (as of 06/10):

Belgium
Lotto-Soudal: Vermeersch (Bel), Sweeny (Aus)
Alpecin-Fenix: Philipsen (Bel),
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux: D.Van Poppel, Van der Hoorn (Ned)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise: Herregodts (Bel)
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB: Dupont (Bel)

France
AG2R Citroën Team: Van Avermaet (Bel), Jungels (Lux)
Groupama-FDJ: Démare, Madouas (Fra), Küng (Swi)
Cofidis : Laporte (Fra), Drucker (Lux)
TotalEnergies: Turgis, Petit (Fra), Terpstra (Ned)
Team Arkea-Samsic: Bouhanni, Riou (Fra), Swift (Gbr)
B&B Hotels p/b KTM: Bonnamour, Coquard, Lemoine (Fra)
Delko : Siskevicius (Lit)
St Michel-Auber 93: Tesson (Fra)
Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole: Vermeulen, Levasseur (Fra)

Germany
Bora-Hansgrohe: Ackermann (Ger)
Team DSM: Kragh Andersen, C.Pedersen (Dan), Bol (Ned)

Israel
Israel Start-Up Nation: Vanmarcke, Van Asbroeck (Bel), Hofstetter (Fra)

Norway
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team: Tiller (Nor)

The Netherlands
Jumbo-Visma: Teunissen, Groenewegen (Ned)

Spain
Equipo Kern Pharma: Berrade, Galvan Fernandez (Esp)
Euskaltel-Euskadi: Bizkarra (Esp)

United States
Trek-Segafredo: Stuyven, Theuns (Bel)

2021 PARIS-TOURS

22 TEAMS, 212,3 KILOMETRES AND 9 VINEYARD TRACKS

Key points:
 The 115th Paris–Tours, which will start in Chartres on Sunday 10 October, will be decided on a 212,3 km course featuring 9 vineyard tracks with a combined length of 9.5 km within the final 50 km. It is a carbon copy of last year’s route and, therefore, perfect for the classics specialists.
 The 22 teams on the start list include the outfits of the winners of the last three editions, which were held in part on these unpaved sections. A total of 14 teams that participated in the last Tour de France will be present.

The one-off postponement of the Northern Classics to the autumn season, the final act of which will be Paris–Tours, has muddied the waters in terms of who is going to enter the race, but the course of the 2021 edition seems to be one for the tough men. Since the distance and the location of the vineyard tracks remain exactly the same, everyone knows where to pounce on the opportunity to thin out the peloton and later launch a decisive attack, in the same vein as the three men who have won the race since the transition to the new format. In 2019, Jelle Wallays threw caution to the wind with a victorious solo attack from 50 kilometres out, on the Côte de Goguenne, while the Côte de la Rochère has twice been the scene of the final selection. In 2018, Cosnefroy, Terpstra and Kragh Andersen took off here before the Dane proved strongest in the finale, while in 2020, Cosnefroy was also part of the decisive move together with Casper Pedersen, who went on to prevail in their duel on Avenue de Grammont. The Frenchman could be looking to settle the score this time round.

22 teams entered

World Teams
AG2R Citroën Team (FRA)
Bora-Hansgrohe (GER)
Cofidis (FRA)
Groupama-FDJ (FRA)
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux (BEL)
Israël Start-Up Nation (ISR)
Jumbo-Visma (NED)
Lotto-Soudal (BEL)
Team DSM (GER)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)

Pro Teams
Alpecin-Fenix (BEL)
B&B Hotels p/b KTM (FRA)
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB (BEL)
Delko (FRA)
Equipo Kern Pharma (ESP)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (ESP)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (BEL)
Team Arkea-Samsic (FRA)
TotalEnergies (FRA)
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (NOR)

Continentales
St Michel-Auber 93 (FRA)
Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole (FRA)

PARIS-TOURS 2020

Chartres – Tours/Avenue de Grammont (213,0 km)
1 CASPER PHILLIP PEDERSEN (TEAM SUNWEB) 04H 51′ 44“
2 BENOIT COSNEFROY (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 00H 00′ 00“
3 JORIS NIEUWENHUIS (TEAM SUNWEB) + 00H 00′ 30“
4 VALENTIN MADOUAS (GROUPAMA – FDJ) + 00H 00′ 30“
5 WARREN BARGUIL (TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC) + 00H 00′ 30“
6 PETR VAKOC (ALPECIN – FENIX) + 00H 00′ 30“
7 ROMAIN BARDET (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 00H 00′ 30“
8 AUGUST JENSEN (RIWAL SECURITAS CYCLING TEAM) + 00H 02′ 11“
9 MAURITS LAMMERTINK (CIRCUS – WANTY GOBERT) + 00H 02′ 11“
10 RUDY MOLARD (GROUPAMA – FDJ) + 00H 02′ 11“

Tours – Sunday, October 11th 2020 – Casper Pedersen (Team Sunweb) claimed his biggest success as a professional rider on Sunday as he dominated Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale) in a 2-man sprint on the Avenue de Grammont. At 24 years old, he brings Denmark a 4th success in Paris-Tours, two years after his teammate Soren Kragh Andersen, who couldn’t defend his chances today in the finale due to a crash. Cosnefroy lit up the race in the vineyard tracks but Pedersen held on and outsprinted him in the end. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Team Sunweb) finished 3rd from a small chasing group.

Paris-Tours 2020: Info with one day to go

Key points:
 The 114th edition of Paris-Tours will start at 09:35 tomorrow morning in Chartres. The riders will have to keep their wits about them as they take on vineyard tracks and hills towards the end of the 213-kilometre route, while taking care not to be caught out by crosswinds on the more exposed sections.
 2018 winner Soren Kragh Andersen starts as favourite but he faces no shortage of challengers, including Benoît Cosnefroy, Warren Barguil, Bryan Coquard, Nacer Bouhanni and Romain Bardet, who makes his final appearance in France for AG2R La Mondiale.
 Ahead of the elite race, the Avenue de Grammont will witness the conclusions to the Paris-Tours Espoirs and Paris-Tours Kilometre races, contested by boys and girls in the cadet and junior categories.

WIND, HILLS AND GRAVEL TRACKS: A HEAVY COCKTAIL

The “classic of the dead leaves” has become something of a “classic of the grapevines” since the addition to its route, two editions ago, of gravel sections traversing the vineyards of the Loire Valley. Set to ensure an intense final 50 kilometres for the racers, the nine tracks featured this year are interspersed among a series of hill climbs in the closing stages.
Cédric Coutouly, who is in charge of setting the route for Paris-Tours, explains the layout of this year’s race: „The vineyard tracks we choose are always accompanied by a hill. In 2018, for example, Kragh Andersen dropped Cosnefroy and Terpstra on the ascent of the Côte de Rochecorbon, a climb made even more demanding by the presence of a vineyard track immediately before it. It is this combination that creates various „springboards“ for riders looking to attack.” The wind is another element in the equation and one which, according to Coutouly, may have a central role to play tomorrow: „in theory there’ll be a north-westerly wind, which may mean crosswinds after the riders pass through Vendôme“. At that point, with over 100 kilometres left to race, only the most vigilant riders will prevail.

ROMAIN BARDET: “IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK”
After his season was put on hold following a heavy crash on the thirteenth stage of the Tour de France, Romain Bardet returned to action at the Flèche Brabançonne (27th) and is set to ride Paris-Tours for the very first time, just as his nine-season association with AG2R La Mondiale comes to an end. It will be his last race in the team’s colours in France before he leaves to join Sunweb: „I’ve only competed in the Paris-Tours U23 race and I’ve got good memories of it. I also recall the images of Richard Virenque when he won there in 2001, as he was a rider I followed closely at the time. I like the idea of trying out a new race and changing up my usual schedule, all the more so since the introduction of the vineyards has added a touch of spice to it. It’s interesting to shake up the route with this sort of innovation, to move away from the classic scenarios. I don’t have any real ambitions this weekend, although I felt good at the Flèche Brabançonne and I’m delighted that my season hasn’t been cut short. It’s good to be back in competition.”

PARIS-TOURS ESPOIRS:
YOUNG RIDERS TO SET OFF FROM BONNEVAL
The identity of the riders on the Paris-Tours Espoirs podium has sometimes been known to offer clues as to the future make-up of the professional peloton. The last ten editions of the race have seen stars like Jelle Wallays, Warren Barguil, Mike Teunissen, Jasper Philipsen and, more recently, Nils Eekhoff all finish in the top three. This year, observers will therefore be keeping a keen eye out for the under-23 riders crossing the finish line at the end of the 178-kilometres route starting in Bonneval.
Of the 31 teams competing, perhaps the most promising crop of riders can be found in the Uno-X Norwegian Development Team and, above all, in the figure of their leader Jonas Hvideberd, who was crowned U23 European champion in Plouay this August. Hvideberd finished third in the race in 2019 when he was only 20 years old. With another year of racing under his belt, the Norwegian has every reason to fancy his chances tomorrow but knows that he will face strong competition from rivals like Belgium’s Ward Vanhoof (sixth last year and fourth in Paris-Roubaix Espoirs) and Frenchman Jason Tesson, who rode home sixth behind Hvideberd at the European championships.
@ASO

PARIS-TOURS 2020: ANOTHER YEAR FOR THE DANES?

Key points:
 The 114th edition of Paris-Tours, which starts on Sunday morning in Chartres, will be raced over 213 km, with a final 50 km featuring nine vineyard tracks totalling 9.5 km.
 These gravel sections were first introduced in 2018, when they were mastered by Soren Kragh Andersen, who will start Sunday’s race as favourite. The Dane will face strong competition from a varied list of contenders that includes Romain Bardet, Valentin Madouas, Warren Barguil, Evaldas Siskevicius, Nacer Bouhanni and Bryan Coquard.

Whatever Paris-Tours may hold in store, the joy of raising one’s arms aloft on the Avenue de Grammont is a privilege reserved only for the very strongest riders. This is true when the race culminates in a sprint – be it one contested by a small group or a bigger peloton – and even more so when a rider succeeds in eliminating the competition with a solo break, a scenario that has unfolded twice since the vineyard tracks were first introduced in 2018. On that occasion Soren Kragh Andersen, who had already claimed notable successes including stage wins in the Tour of Oman and the Tour de Suisse, demonstrated a potent blend of racing instinct and strength as he rode to victory in Tours. Two years down the line, his formula continues to bear fruit, as shown in his two wins at this year’s Tour de France, and the Dane’s style appears once more to be perfectly suited to the challenge presented by the autumn vineyards. Having claimed an imperious victory ahead of Stefan Küng in the time trial stage at the recent BinckBank Tour, the Danish rouleur arrives in fine form and with the favourite’s tag firmly attached to his No. 1 bib. He nonetheless faces stiff competition from Valentin Madouas, in impressive form at the World Championships and in the Ardennes, Evaldas Siskevicius, a rider built for Roubaix-style challenges, and Romain Bardet, who is no stranger to descending from the mountains in search of the classics (3rd at Liège and 2nd in the Strade Bianche in 2018), like Warren Barguil, 4th of Flèche Wallonne and 9th in Liège last week. Alternatively, any prospect of a sprint for the line, regardless of the number of riders involved, could play into the hands of Bryan Coquard, who finished in the top ten at each of the seven sprints contested by the peloton at this year’s Tour de France (including 3rd place in Lavaur) or Nacer Bouhanni, who would dearly love to follow up his overall triumph in the Coupe de France series by claiming victory at one of the crucibles of sprinting.

The main contenders (as at 06/10):
Belgium
Alpecin-Fenix: De Bondt (BEL), Vakoc (CZE)
Circus-Wanty Gobert: Vliegen (BEL)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise: Deltombe (BEL)
Bingoal WB: Vanendert, Ista (BEL)

Denmark
Riwal Readynez Cycling Team: Jensen (NOR)

France
AG2R La Mondiale: Bardet, Godon (FRA)
Groupama-FDJ: Madouas, Molard (FRA)
Cofidis: Vanbilsen (Bel), Berhane (ERI)
Total-Direct Energie: Hivert (FRA)
Team Arkea-Samsic: Bouhanni, Barguil (FRA), McLay (GB)
B&B Vital Concept P/B KTM: Coquard (FRA), Slagter (NLD)
Nippo Delko Provence: Siskevicius (LIT), Combaud (FRA)
St Michel-Auber 93: Maldonado, Hurel (FRA)
Natura4ever-Roubaix Lille Métropole: Vermeulen, Levasseur (FRA)

Germany
Team Sunweb: Kragh Andersen, C.Pedersen (DEN)

Norway
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team: M. Hoelgaard (NOR)

Russia
Gazprom-RusVelo: Canola (ITA), Kuznetsov (RUS)

Spain
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA: Aberasturi (ESP), Aular (VEN)
Burgos-BH: Gibson (GB), Molenaar (NLD)
Euskaltel-Euskadi: Aristi (ESP), Zhyhunou (BLR)

USA
Team Novo Nordisk: Planet (FRA), Kusztor (HUN)
Rally Cycling: Carpenter, Colin (USA)

©A.S.O.
More information about Paris-Tours on: www.paris-tours.fr/en/

PARIS-TOURS 2019: Wallays, five years after!

Tours – Sunday, October 13th 2019 – Winner of Paris-Tours back in 2014, Jelle Wallays (LTS) managed to conquer yet another victory on the French classic but on a course far different to the one of his first triumph. The Belgian took off with over fifty kilometres to go on the first of nine “vine tracks” on the menu. He then managed to stay clear of the group of favourites before winning with a comfortable lead over Niki Terpstra (TDE) et Oliver Naesen (ALM).
For the final road race on French territory of the cycling season, 151 riders gathered in the pretty city of Chartres, under a bright sunshine for the 113th edition of Paris-Tours. Taking off just before noon, six riders gave it a go in the early moments of the race but the strong headwind condemned their attempt rapidly. Ten kilometres later, three riders, Dowsett (TKA), Nielsen (RIW) and De Vos (RLY) tried their luck enjoying a decent advantage.

THREE AND THEN SEVEN IN THE LEAD
While going through Bonneval (km 30) the situation changed considerably. Dowsett stopped his efforts and five other riders managed to power away from the pack and bridged the gap on the escapees. Seven riders led the way: Molly, Paaschens (WVA), Nielsen (RIW), De Vos (RLY), Hurel (AUB), Dernies and Leroux (NRL).
FIRST SELECTION
The situation remained the same and the front riders enjoyed a maximum 4’15’’ lead at km 45. As the riders entered Vendôme, the peloton broke into several groups under the influence of teams Groupama-FDJ, Total Direct Energie and Vital Concept BnB Hotels. The gap dropped down dramatically and the breakaway was finally caught by a group of around forty riders at km 106. A first selection of title contenders had been done. While riders such as Cavendish or Van Asbroeck were dropped, all the main favourites including title holder Soren Kragh Andersen (SUN) but also Démare (GFC), Naesen (AGR) and Terpstra (TDD) remained in the leading group.
OFF GOES THE TITLE HOLDER
At km 146, the winner of the 2018 edition decided to take off on his own. Kragh Andersen was soon to be caught by Boy Van Poppel (ROC) just ten kilometres before the first gravel track as both men enjoyed a 40” advantage. On the climb up the Côte de Goguenne, Van Poppel failed to keep up with his breakaway companion and Jelle Wallays (LTS) winner of the race in 2014 counter-attacked. At the exit of “vine path” n°8, the leading rider had a 35’’ gap over Wallays and 50” over a slim peloton.
WALLAYS ALONE IN THE LEAD
On the following track, bad luck hit Kragh Andersen who suffered a puncture. The Sunweb leader was caught and rapidly dropped by the main group of favourites at km 179 while Wallays saw his lead grow to 1’25” after sector n°6. Despite the many attacks in the chasing group, the Belgian maintained a consistent gap. With 15kms to go it reached 1’30”.
TERPSTRA-NAESEN COUNTER
On the final climb of the day, the Côte de Rochecorbon (10kms from the finish), Wallays hadn’t lost any time on the chasing 11 men. Two men then decided to take off on a final counter-attack: Naesen (ALM) and Terpstra (TDE). But with 5kms to go Wallays could still count on a promising 55” lead. The Belgian stayed clear of the chasing duo and victoriously crossed the finish line with close to 40” on Terpstra and Naesen, second and third. Five years after what was then his greatest victory, Wallays triumphs again.
@ASO
Chartres – Tours/Avenue de Grammont (217,0 km)
1 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal 5:34:20
2 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Total Direct Energie 0:00:29
3 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:30
4 Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama – FDJ 0:00:36
5 Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise 0:00:49
6 Aimé De Gendt (Bel) Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team 0:00:49
7 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Dimension Data 0:00:51
8 Bert De Backer (Bel) Vital Concept – B&B Hotels 0:00:53
9 Kevyn Ista (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles 0:00:53
10 Julien Vermote (Bel) Team Dimension Data 0:00:53
11 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:53
12 Fernando Barceló Aragon (Esp) Euskadi Basque Country – Murias 0:00:55
13 Stefan Küng (SUI) Groupama – FDJ 0:01:14
14 Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles 0:01:20
15 Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:43
16 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team 0:01:43
17 Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) St Michel – Auber 93 0:01:43
18 Reto Hollenstein (SUI) Team Katusha Alpecin 0:01:43
19 Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise 0:01:43
20 Clément Russo (Fra) Team Arkéa – Samsic 0:01:43

PARIS-TOURS 2019: Stefan Küng: “The more demanding it is, the better it suits me”


Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer

Recent bronze medallist at the World Championships in Yorkshire after blowing up the race at more than 60 kilometres from the finish, Stefan Küng is among the riders on form as the season nears its end. The Swiss rider from the Groupama FDJ team also expects to be in his element on the uncomfortable terrain to try to win Sunday in Tours.
Several riders have already finished their season after the Worlds. To the contrary, do you want to continue to take advantage of your current form?
“I took a break in September and did some high-altitude training to prepare for the Worlds, which has allowed me to take on the end of the season both mentally and physically fresh. The World Championship was the main objective, but there are still some terrific races afterwards and in particular Paris-Tours. This is the one I have had in mind since the conclusion of the Worlds, and the one that suits me best.”
You returned to competition on Binche-Chimay-Binche (9th) where you were still in contention and even a protagonist in the leading group in the final stretch. How were your feeling?
“I felt very good, maybe a little too good, because I really put in a lot of effort. I didn’t want to wait for the sprint, so I pulled away from the peloton several times, but in spite of that, there was a regrouping and I was dropped. It was still confirmation that I am in very good shape.”

The scenario on last year’s Paris-Tours, with a rather aggressive selection quite far from the finish, would suit you nicely for a solo attack…
“I hope the race will be tough, the more demanding it is, the better it suits me. I saw that the selection can also happen due to mechanical problems on the trails, so we will put in a meticulous reconnaissance ride Friday, which will allow us to adapt the equipment and avoid a premature elimination.”
©Presse Sports “Once I build a gap, I know that I can hold on and the distance doesn’t scare me. That is why I always prefer to anticipate.”
What do you think about the trails in the vineyards? For someone who is strong on the Roubaix cobblestones in the Spring (11th), it shouldn’t be too much of a big deal…
“Yes, and I also love the Strade Bianche, so it doesn’t pose any problems. When I train, I very often ride on rocky trails because I like it. I know how to react on these terrains and in the race, it helps. It does not scare me and it’s even an advantage.”
Your success rate is rather high when you decide to attack. What tells you when it is the right time to go for it?
“When my legs are really hurting, I tell myself that it must be truly difficult for everyone. And generally, it is at that moment that an attack can allow me to take off. And once I build a gap, I know that I can hold on and I am not afraid of the distance. That is why I always prefer to anticipate and have a lead from my adversaries.”

You have the chance to put in a strong race with Groupama FDJ. What will be the strategy on Sunday?
“We will use all of our options. It will certainly be up to me to be the first one to move and to be included in the selection. And if it doesn’t happen, with Arnaud and Marc who is also in good shape, we will for sure still have at least one rider in the group for the win. It is always good to be able to count on several options, especially in a race of more than 200 kilometres.”
To win Paris-Tours would be a terrific way to end your first year with Groupama FDJ…but what initial evaluation can you already make?
“It has been very positive because in changing teams I wanted to take on more responsibilities. Having to ride for Greg Van Avermaet, I lost a bit of the winning instinct, which made the start of the season a little difficult. But then I was able to take on my role as a team leader and win some races. And of course, there was the Tour de France where I rode for Thibaut Pinot, who has the ability to win, which is extremely motivating.”
@ASO

PARIS-TOURS 2019

Key points:
 Just like last year, when Søren Kragh Andersen used the rugged terrain as a launchpad to claim a solo win, the 113th edition of Paris–Tours should come down to a showdown among classics specialists. Oliver Naesen, Niki Terpstra, Nils Politt and Stefan Küng will be vying for his crown this year.
 For the second time running, the peloton will have to tackle vineyards tracks (nine sectors totalling 10.7 km), along with seven climbs in the final 50 kilometres.
 The classic of the falling leaves will also be the final curtain call for Brice Feillu, the winner of the stage to Andorra-Arcalís in the 2009 Tour de France, who will be hanging up his wheels at the end of the season.
CÉDRIC COUTOULY: „ONLY THE TOUGH GUYS WILL BE A FACTOR“
Paris–Tours has ended in a bunch sprint 12 times since the finish line was moved to the Avenue de Grammont in 1988. In other words, short- or long-range solo attacks and small group sprints have carried the day almost two thirds of the time. While the addition of vineyards to the course in 2018 ripped the peloton apart, the sporting manager of the race, Cédric Coutouly, thinks that the selection could be less abrupt this time round. „As well as shortening those sectors a bit, we increased the distance between the two that did the most damage last year. We have also thrown in a 10-kilometre breather that will make it easier for groups to reform. I have an inkling that the decisive selection will come later. On the other hand, team tactics will be less important than usual because almost every vineyard track comes right after a climb, when everyone will be going into the red anyway. As a result, only the tough guys will be a factor. However, having a teammate in the finale can still come in handy from a strategic point of view, for example, in the event of a small group finish.“

BRICE FEILLU READY FOR SWANSONG
Brice Feillu is set to hang up his wheels at the end of what is his 11th season in the pro peloton. The Frenchman, now racing for Arkéa–Samsic, experienced the sweetest moment of his career back in 2009 when, riding the Tour de France as a neo-pro, he claimed a Pyrenean stage ending in Ordino Arcalís, Andorra. The man from Châteaudun, who will be competing almost in his own backyard in the first part of the race on Sunday, has taken part in seven editions of the Grande Boucle and will be starting his fifth Paris–Tours.

PARIS–TOURS ESPOIRS: A LAUNCH PAD FOR 205 YOUNG RIDERS
Just like its pro counterpart, Paris-Tours Espoirs is an important late-season race for U23 riders. 31 teams featuring some of the most prolific rising stars of this season will roll out of Bonneval on Sunday. If defending champion Marten Kooistra is to go two for two on the vineyard tracks, he will have to see off the likes of the Norwegian winner of the Tour de l’Avenir, Tobias Foss. The U23 is a launch pad to the elite: Dutchman Nils Eekhoff, who came in third in last year’s Paris–Tours Espoirs, will be racing in the pro ranks with Sunweb this time round. Another five podium finishers in the U23 category will be riding „with the big boys“ on Sunday: Angelo Tulik, Tony Gallopin, Olivier Le Gac and Kris Boeckmans, as well as Jelle Wallays, the only man to have won both races.

PARIS–TOURS KILOMETRE: THE GIRLS STEP TO THE FORE
Before the U23 riders and the pros, it will be the turn of the O15 riders and Juniors selected by the departmental and regional cycling committees to take the Avenue de Grammont by storm. 19 teams will go head to head in the Paris–Tours Kilometre following the format that premiered last year, with mixed teams of two girls and two boys apiece.
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Paris-Tours 2019 – The paths to success

Key points:
 For the 113th edition of Paris-Tours, which will take place this coming 13 October, the formula of unpaved roads capable of favouring an eventful race have been brought back, with a slightly shorter distance and a reworked layout.
 The 217km race will start in Chartres, while the Paris-Tours Espoirs peloton will kick-off the action using the final 183 kilometres, starting in Bonneval. The cadets and juniors, boys and girls will compete in the Kilomètre de Paris-Tours.

The 2018 harvest season exceeded all expectations. This is not a report published by the Vouvray winegrowers, but rather conclusions drawn from the changes made to the Paris-Tours race route last year. An attacking style was rewarded, in particular for Søren Kragh Andersen, the 24-year-old winner of his first classic after finishing runner-up in 2017. When he went on the offensive, the succession of vineyards weeded out the peloton to the delight of the strongest riders. The spirit of this pitched battle has been conserved, while arranging the positioning of the difficulties that will progressively drop riders. Thus, the first unpaved sections come after more than 160 kilometres of the race, while a 10km-long portion favouring a regrouping will precede a second series of unpaved roads.

In the section exposed to wind in the Eure-et-Loir and Loir-et-Cher, the crosswinds more than anything else will preserve the race favourites. But after passing by the Château d’Amboise, they will certainly have to rely on their team mates… and finally trust their instincts and legs. On the 10.7s kilometres of vineyards (vs 12.5 kms in 2018), 6.5 kms are regrouped over a distance of 20 kms and spread out over six sectors. The race will then continue through the city of Rochecorbon and head toward the finish line in Tours where an eventual breakaway leader will have to resist his remaining rivals on the Avenue de Grammont. Unless there is a larger group on this Mecca of sprint finishes…

23 teams entered
World Teams
AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Groupama-FDJ (Fra)
Lotto Soudal (Bel)
Team Dimension Data (Afs)
Team Katusha-Alpecin (Sui)
Team Sunweb (All)
UAE Team Emirates (UAE)

Pro Continental
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
Delko Marseille Provence (Fra)
Euskadi Basque Country-Murias (Esp)
Gazprom-Rusvelo (Rus)
Israel Cycling Academy (Isr)
Rally UHC Cycling (Usa)
Riwal Readynez Cycling Team (Dan)
Roompot-Charles (Hol)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
Team Arkéa-Samsic (Fra)
Total Direct Energie (Fra)
Vital Concept-B&B Hotels (Fra)
Wallonie Bruxelles (Fra)
Wanty-Gobert Cycling Team (Bel)

Continental
Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole (Fra)
St Michel-Auber 93 (Fra)