Frédéric Guesdon, almost 35 and the last French rider to win Paris-Roubaix, added another glorious victory to his list of achievements by winning the hundredth edition of Paris -Tours, in a completely unexpected turn of events. 01 A decisive breakaway attack was launched at km 13 by Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC), Frédéric Finot (FDJ) and Stéphane Poulhies (AG2R), which encouraged many other riders to follow in their wake. The group expanded quickly, almostimmediately reinforced by three more riders, followed by a counter-attack by 16 others at km 16.5, then the arrival of six further riders at km 24. The leading group of the day hence comprised 28 riders. 02 After more than 80 kms, theDiscovery Channel riders increased the pace and split the pack. Trapped, Boonen and Zabel drifted in a group at the back of the pack, whilst Hushovd, O’Grady, Pozzato, Gilbert, Geslin, Vœckler and Kirsipuu managed to stay in the top group.The situation became critical for Boonen’s group, at 11’ at km 121 and continuing to lose ground. 03 In the feeding area, all the riders in the back part of the race gave up the chase and abandoned the course. 72 riders were left in the race. 04 But with 56 km to go, the day’s leaders saw the gap reduced and the tempo was raised. It was time for action.The most serious move was lead by Frédéric Guesdon. He attacked with Moreni, and then was joined by Van Impe,Gasparotto and Arvesen.
05 At km 230, only five riders remained in the lead, with a line-up that the Lampre team wanted to take to a final sprint. The lead was down to 15’’. 06 Frédéric Guesdon attacked in the Côte de l’Epan. In the remaining eight kilometres he was joined by Kurt-Asle Arvesen, in a head to head combat for the finish. The French rider stayed in Arvesen’s wheels before surging forward in the last two hundred metres before the finish. 07 The sprinters continued to battle it out for third place on the avenue de Grammont. O’Grady won the sprint for third place.