Speculation is rife about how the 107th edition of Paris–Tours is going to play out. Whether it comes from a sprint or a decisive attack, the victory will be broadcast in 190 countries.
4 OUT OF 16 FOR THE SPRINTERS
Avenue de Grammont is one of the hallowed names in sprinter lore, a status it earned after witnessing an almost unbroken series of mass sprints at the end of Paris–Tours. However, the race has eluded the fast men ever since Óscar Freire won it in 2010, while a quick glance at the history books shows that pure sprinters only prevailed in 4 out of the 16 most recent editions. In fact, the race often comes down to a struggle between the sprinters' teams and either the leftovers from a long breakaway or attackers who use the last difficulties (Côte de Crochu, Côte de l'Epan, etc.) as a springboard. The most numerous are not always the strongest, in this type of scenario! Marco Marcato and Greg Van Avermaet managed to keep the peloton at bay in the last two editions, just like Philippe Gilbert, Frédéric Guesdon and Erik Dekker before them. The many riders seeking to repeat the exploit this year will have to hold off the likes of Démare, Degenkolb, Ciolek and Coquard.
THE ESPOIRS STEP UP TO THE PLATE
The final race of the season is also one of the highlights of the year for those under 23. It was in Paris–Tours Espoirs that Thor Hushovd and Tom Boonen broke through at the turn of the century, just like Tony Gallopin in a more recent edition. Warren Barguil already leapt into the spotlight last year with a second place finish behind Taruia Krainer, who will be defending his title this weekend. Several challengers, including Adam Yates (runner-up in the recent Tour de l'Avenir), Julian Alaphilippe (winner of the stage to Plateau des Glières) and Cédric Delaplace (French amateur champion), will fight to succeed him.
BROADCAST IN 190 COUNTRIES, LIKE THE TOUR!
This year, the last classic of the season will receive top-notch media coverage all over the world. The interest of the continental chains ESPN Inter (South America) and Al-Jazeera Sport (Middle East) boosts the media exposure of Paris–Tours from 151 to 190 countries, with a total of 23 broadcasters involved. Coverage will include 1 h 50 of images provided to the channels and will go live on France Télévisions at 1:55 pm, as well as Eurosport, RTBF (Belgium), TV2 (Denmark), Teledeporte (Spain), Rai Sports (Italy) and many others.
The 107th edition of Paris-Tours, which will be played out on Sunday October 13th, brings together a group of top-class sprinters headed by Gerald Ciolek, winner of Milan-San Remo earlier this year, and the Frenchmen Arnaud Demare and Bryan Coquard. However, a mass sprint in Avenue de Grammont is by no means certain.
Paris-Tours is the last chance for professional riders to add a prestigious classic race to their CV this year. The characteristics of this final race are well-known: at the end of a long 235-kilometre route often exposed to the wind, the strong men in the peloton usually sort it all out in the sprint. Those who like sprints will enjoy this situation with a possible clash between generations that could be explosive. Gerald Ciolek, one of the representatives of “the Germany that wins” will try and round off his season with the same success as when he won Milan-San Remo. In order to win in Tours, he will need to get past older riders such as Mark Renshaw, Tyler Farrar, Jürgen Roelandts or Heinrich Haussler, and also a group of young sprinters led by John Degenkolb, the Frenchmen Arnaud Demare and Bryan Coquard, or perhaps Alexey Lutsenko from Kazakhstan.
A look back at previous winners shows that, in the ‘classic of the falling leaves’, victory can also be achieved by anticipating other riders’ movements. The last two winners, Greg Van Avermaet (2011) and Marco Marcato (2012), built their victories from a long way out. In this respect, there will be several good candidates on the start line at Authon-du-Perche. Sylvain Chavanel and Thomas Voeckler will be closely watched on the slopes of Beau Soleil or Epan, for example. Other surprise attackers could also shine, such as Lieuwe Westra, Enrico Gasparotto or Sep Vanmarcke.
The 25 teams selected
MTN-Qhubeka: Ciolek (Ger)
Lotto-Belisol: Bak (Den), Roelandts (Bel)
Omega Pharma - Quick Step Cycling Team: Chavanel (Fra), Maes, Meersman (Bel), Terpstra (Ned)
Accent Jobs - Wanty: Van Dijk (Ned), Vogondy (Fra)
Crelan-Euphony: Juodvalkis (Lit)
TopSport Vlaanderen - Baloise: De Vreese (Bel)
Team Saxo-Tinkoff: Kroon (Nedl), Morkov (Den), Tosatto (Ita)
Euskaltel-Euskadi: Bilbao (Spa)
BMC Racing Team: Burghardt (Ger), Van Avermaet (Bel)
Garmin-Sharp: Bauer (NZL), Farrar (USA), Hunter (SAF)
AG2R La Mondiale: S.Dumoulin (Fra)
FDJ: Demare, Geslin, Offredo (Fra)
Bretagne - Séché Environnement: Delpech, Lequatre (Fra)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Lemarchand, Levarlet, Petit (Fra)
Sojasun: Hivert (Fra), Siskevicius (Lit)
Team Europcar: Coquard, Voeckler (Fra)
BigMat - Auber 93: Baquet, Drujon (Fra)
La Pomme Marseille: Antomarchi, Jules (Fra)
Roubaix Lille Métropole: Kowalski (Fra)
Astana Pro Team: Gasparotto (Ita), Lutsenko (Kaz)
Belkin Pro Cycling Team: Boom (Ned), Renshaw (Aus), Vanmarcke (Bel)
Team Argos-Shimano: Degenkolb (Ger), T.Dumoulin (Ned), Janse Van Rensburg (SAF)
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team: Leukemans (Bel), Marcato (Ita), Westra (Ned)
Katusha Team: Ignatyev (Rus), Kuchynski (Blr)
lIAM Cycling: Elmiger (Swi), Haussler (Aus)
The Eure-et-Loir department in France has been organising the start of the Paris-Tours Classic since 2009. The agreement has been extended until the 2016 edition of the race and was announced at the same time as the 25 teams invited to participate this year.
Five weeks from the start of Paris-Tours, whose 107th edition will take place on 13th October, the town of Authon-du-Perche, chosen by the Eure-et-Loir General Council to host the race’s start, has shown that it is ready to welcome the professional pack. In the afternoon, the town’s mayor met with Albéric de Montgolfier, President of the General Council, and Christian Prudhomme to announce the list of 25 teams invited to participate in the end of season classic.
Sportspersons or leisure riders of all levels were invited to join a ride that will start out on Saturday 12th October from Authon-du-Perche at 2 PM, whilst an events village will be set up on the Place des Marroniers square. The following day, the amateurs will leave the spotlight for the elite, who will set off to Tours at 11 AM along a route measuring almost 250 km. At the same time, the pack of young riders (under 23 years old) will leave Bonneval for a shorter version of the race, reduced to 185 km. The day’s competition will also involve the cadets and juniors from many regional and local committees who will be testing themselves on the “Paris-Tours Kilometre”…
The 25 teams selected
Omega Pharma - Quick Step Cycling Team
Accent Jobs - Wanty
TopSport Vlaanderen - Baloise
BMC Racing Team
AG2R La Mondiale
Bretagne - Séché Environnement
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
BigMat - Auber 93
La Pomme Marseille
Roubaix Lille Métropole
Astana Pro Team
Belkin Pro Cycling Team
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
The 33 teams in the young riders’ Paris-Tours
Burgundy, Ile-de-France, Normandy, Centre Region, Equipe Mixte, Brest Iroise Cyclisme 2000, CC. Nogent/Oise, CC Etupes Le Doubs, Chambéry Cyclisme Formation, CR4 Chemins Roanne, Entente Sud Gascogne, ESEG Douai, Guidon Chalettois, Oceane U Top 16, Sojasun Espoir - AC Noyal Châtillon, VC Vaulx en Velin Rhône Alpes, U Nantes Atlantique, VC Rouen 76, Vendée U Pays de Loire, Occitane Cyclisme Formation, VS Chartres Cyclisme, Color Code Biowanze, Cycling Team Jo Piels, BMC Development, KNWU, Lotto-Belisol, Soenens-Construkt Glas Cycling Team, Team Wallonie Espoirs, Ventilair-Steria, VL Technics - Abutriek Cycling Team, EFC - Omega Pharma Quick Step, Rabobank Development Team, Leopard - Trek Continental Team.
The Eure-et-Loir Departmental Council and Amaury Sport Organisation are pleased to announce that Authon-du-Perche will host the start of this year's PARIS-TOURS. In the last five years, the famous race has been the perfect excuse for the Departmental Council and the starting town to set up a wide range of activities. Following in the footsteps of Chartres, La Loupe, Voves and Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais, the 107th edition of Paris-Tours in Authon-du-Perche will be a must-see event!
A new edition of Paris-Tours will kick off from Eure-et-Loir on October 13, 2013. After Chartres, La Loupe, Voves and Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais, it is Authon-du-Perche's turn to host the start of the race which will feature the top teams and cyclists. "It is thanks to the determination of departmental councillor Françoise Hamelin and the commitment of Authon-du-Perche mayor Patrice Leriget that this great festive and sporting event will adorn the landscapes of Perche and Eure-et-Loir, once again with the proud support of the Departmental Council", said Albéric de Montgolfier, chairman of the Council. "Paris-Tours has been part of cycling history since 1896, and the lands it crosses have always given it a particular flavour. The Beauce plains, for example, have often shaped the race. The agreement reached between the Eure-et-Loir Departmental Council and ASO to keep the start of the race in the department throughout a new cycle of editions will write a new chapter in this history", stresses ASO's director of cycling, Christian Prudhomme.
It has been customary since 2009 to choose a different town to host the peloton each year. After Chartres, La Loupe, Voves and Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais, on Sunday, October 13 the bunch will begin its long ride to Tours from Authon-du-Perche. "ASO and the Eure-et-Loir department's renewed partnership for the start of Paris-Tours symbolises the common passion of a department which also hosted the final time trial of the 2012 Tour between Bonneval and Chartres: a passion for collective accomplishments", added Albéric de Montgolfier.