Paris-Tours comes up on the 14th of October as a last opportunity of the season to shine on a prestigious scene. The last big French classic, the long 256 kilometre road that finishes on the long straight of the Avenue de Grammont remains privileged terrain for the sprinters of the pack.
Among the strong men when it comes to bunched sprints, quite a few candidates could end their season in style in front of the Tours Town-hall. Robbie McEwen, who has never added his name to the Paris-Tours record book, will try to correct that detail, exactly like his usual rivals on the big Tours, Oscar Freire, Alessandro Petacchi and Thor Hushovd.
The autumn event could also be a confirmation for those who try to enter the very exclusive sprinting giant's club: Robert Hunter, Sébastien Chavanel, Heinrich Haussler, Gert Steegmans but also Romain Feillu who belong to that category.
The Paris-Tours scenario being rarely written in advance which indeed was the case when Frederic Guesdon triumphed in the 100th edition in 2006, one could expect the victory of an adventurer rather than the leader of a perfectly organised team. Riders like Samuel Sanchez, Filippo Pozzato, Fabian Cancellara, Thomas Voeckler, Jens Voigt or Philippe Gilbert will be watched with a lot of attention in the last few kilometres.
|The favourites of the 23 teams|
Gerolsteiner : Förtser, Haussler (ALL)
Team Wiesenhof Felt : Pollack (ALL), P.Velits (SVQ)
Chocolade Jacques Topsport : Eeckhout (BEL)
Predictor-Lotto : McEwen (AUS), Van Avermaet (BEL)
Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner : A.Capelle (BEL), Gabriel (FRA)
Quick Step - Innergetic : Steegmans (BEL), Vasseur (FRA)
Denmark Team CSC : Cancellara (SUI), Voigt (ALL)
Caisse d'Epargne : Valverde, Pereiro (ESP)
Euskaltel - Euskadi : Sanchez (ESP)
Saunier-Duval - Prodir : Belohvosciks (LET), Pagliarini (BRE)
AG2R Prévoyance : Elmiger (SUI), Usov (BLR)
Agritubel : Feillu (FRA)
Bouygues Telecom : Clerc (SUI), Geslin, Voeckler (FRA)
Cofidis crédit par téléphone : Duque (COL), Scheirlinckx (BEL)
Crédit Agricole : Hushovd (NOR), Renshaw (AUS)
Française des Jeux : Gilbert (BEL), Seb.Chavanel, Guesdon (FRA)
Barloworld : Hunter (AFS)
Lampre - Fondital : Napolitano (ITA)
Liquigas : Backstedt (SUE), Chicchi, Pozzato (ITA)
Team Milram : Petacchi (ITA), Zabel (ALL)
Rabobank : Freire, Flecha (ESP)
Skil-Shimano : Tjallingii (HOL), Lhotellerie (FRA)
Discovery Channel : Davis (AUS), Devolder (BEL)
Download the press release(1 page, .pdf, 90 ko)