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Oscar Freire, the last sprinter on the Avenue de Grammont - winner of Paris-Tours 2010

Added: sunday 10 October 2010 at 18:57:00
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    Oscar Freire, the last sprinter on the Avenue de Grammont - winner of Paris-Tours 2010Paris-Tours 2010 was won today by Oscar Freire (Rabobank). A leading group of 8 riders finally exploded and the peloton completely got back together at 15 kilometers from the finish while the solo-attack by Geoffroy Lequatre (Team Radioshack) ended at 300 meters from the finish. The last Paris-Tours finish on the well known Avenue de Grammont thus ended in a sprint and this was won by the Spanish rider of the Dutch team.

    The summary of Paris-Tours 2010

    This morning at the start in La Loupe the sun only timidly showed its face when the 190 riders came to the start of the 104th edition of the Classic of the falling leaves. This afternoon at the finish the sprint took place under a clear blue sky with a lovely sun.
    The start of Paris-Tours 2010 in La Loupe
    After several attempts to escape, 4 riders managed to get away from the peloton only at kilometer 37: Jonas Jorgensen (Team Saxo Bank), the Australian champion Travis Meyer (Garmin-Transitions), Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R La Mondiale) and Simon Geschke (Skil-Shimano). A few kilometers further this group doubled in quantity because Nikolas Maes (Quick Step), Aleksejs Saramotins (Team HTC-Columbia), Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) and Laurent Pichon (Bretagne-Schuller) joined the 4 riders of the leading group.
    The leading group
    At the feeding zone in Vendôme the lead of the 8 riders was up to over 3 minutes and at that time the Saur-Sojasun team decided to start chasing. Due to their action the peloton exploded in three groups and among the sprinters riders like Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha) and Daniele Bennati (Liquigas-Doimo) were surprised and thus didn't ride in the first group.

    It was thus not really surprising that the peloton got back together, but this allowed the group of 8 riders to gain back some time on the peloton. This situation of course didn't please the teams which counted on a possible victory in a sprint and the Rabobank, Radioshack and Omega Pharma-Lotto teams thus started working in front of the peloton to bring the gap down to 1'15" at 40 kilometers from the finish.

    The final of Paris-Tours had been made a bit more difficult by the organisation by adding a few additional short climbs, but it was in one of the already existing climbs, the Côte de Crochu, that Simon Geschke attacked. He was followed by Nikolas Maes while the other riders from the former leading group were joined by 8 chasing riders. At 20 kilometers from the finish this second group was taken back by the peloton and 5 kilometers further the leading group also calls it to an end.

    From a regrouped peloton Geoffroy Lequatre (Team Radioshack) decided to use one of the new climbs, the Côte de Beau Soleil, to attack and take a short lead of about 25 seconds. At the time he entered the last straight line, the Avenue de Grammont, the French rider still is running 18 seconds ahead of the peloton. Under the red flag of the last kilometer his lead was back down to 10 seconds and the teams who wanted this Paris-Tours to end in a sprint managed to get back on him at 300 meters from the finish line.

    Oscar Freire wins Paris-Tours 2010At that time the sprint started and, despite the fact that Robbie McEwen (Team Katusha) changed direction, the Spanish rider Oscar Freire (Rabobank) managed to win it ahead of the surprising Angelo Furlan (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and the less surprising Gert Steegmans (Team Radioshack).

    Oscar Freire's comments

    After the finish, in the press room, Oscar Freire said about this: it was a good sprint because I won the race but at 200 meters from the finish I was not so sure about that since McEwen changed direction. I had to brake in order not to fall but fortunately I managed to win the sprint. I was thus really doing good because when you make a mistake in a sprint you usually don't win it.

    I've tried to win this race for several years already but I haven't really been lucky since there was an escape every time. This year I decided to stay in front of the peloton and fortunately it ended in a sprint now and I was thus able to win!

    The classification of Paris-Tours 2010

    The top 10 of this 104th edition of Paris-Tours is as follows:

    1/ Oscar Freire (Rabobank) - 4h52'54"
    2/ Angelo Furlan (Lampre-Farnese Vini)
    3/ Gert Steegmans (Team Radioshack)
    4/ Klaas Lodewijck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator)
    5/ Yukiya Arashiro (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)
    6/ Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
    7/ Yoann Offredo (FDJ)
    8/ Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step)
    9/ Bernhard Eisel (Team HTC-Columbia)
    10/ Sébastien Chavanel (FDJ)

    More photos will very soon be available in the 2010 Paris-Tours photos section

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Paris-Tours| Cycling general (except Tour de France) | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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