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Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), surprising winner of Paris-Tours 2011

Added: sunday 09 October 2011 at 22:50:00
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    Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), surprising winner of Paris-Tours 2011The 105th edition of the Classic of the falling leaves didn't end in a bunch sprint this afternoon in Tours. A leading duo which was part of a leading group of 21 riders, including most of the riders of the very first leading group of the day, continued till the end and of these two riders, the Belgian rider Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) attacked at the right moment to take the first place, ahead of Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team).

    The summary of Paris-Tours 2011

    Under a grey sky, the riders of the 105th edition of Paris-Tours started in Voves this morning. Before that, they of course came to sign the list of participants and not surprisingly there was quite a buzz around Mark Cavendish (Team HTC-Highroad) when the rainbow jersey of the recent World Champion came to sign in.

    Once the race really started, the first breakaway got formed Peloton at the start of Paris-Tours 2011with 7 riders: first of all right from the start just outside Voves 4 riders decided to attack, David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Andreas Klier (Team Garmin-Cervélo), Rony Martias (Saur-Sojasun) and Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet). 7 kilometers further they got company from 3 other riders: Will Clarke (Team Leopard-Trek), Rubens Bertogliati of Team Type 1-Sanofi and Jurgen van Goolen (Veranda's Willems Accent).

    De kopgroepThe gap of this breakaway increased rather quickly and 40 kilometers after the full group got formed it was at its highest with 11 minutes and 5 seconds! That was the sign for the peloton, led by the Rabobank and HTC-Highroad teams, to seriously start the pursuit. Despite that, the gap was still above 8 minutes about 50 kilometers further.

    At about 90 kilometers from the finish, mainly thanks to an extra boost of the BMC Racing Team, the gap was reduced to more normal values, just above 2 minutes and 30 seconds. At 70 kilometers from the white line drawn in the Avenue de Grammont in Tours, 15 riders launched a counter attack and at kilometer 172 they joined the 7 leading riders, of whom Will Clarke could no longer follow the accelleration once these two groups got together.

    Arnaud Gérard (FDJ), one of the riders of the counter attack, decided to do a solo attack at 17 kilometers from the finish, while Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and Marco Marcato, also in the group of 15, launched the pursuit. When they were getting close to Tours, just before the forelast climbd of the new final kilometers of the race (see the race course in the article The Paris-Tours 2011 race route on Google Maps/Google Earth and the route and time schedule), the Côte de Beau Soleil, the duo which launched the pursuit got back and over him and these two riders finally continued together until the finish.

    The victory was not really decided in a sprint (like I said in the article about the race route; maybe Jean-Pierre Danguillaume was right when he proudly announced me this morning he was, together with François Lemarchand, at the origin of this change in the parcours of the final kilometers, a change which he had been pushing for since a few years already as he told me!) because the rider of the BMC team attacked at 300 meters from the line and easily stayed ahead of Marcato. Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank-Sungard) won the sprint of the peloton for the 3rd place.

    The classification of Paris-Tours 2011

    Hereunder you'll find the top 10 of the 2011 edition of Paris-Tours:

    1/ Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) - 5h21'43"
    2/ Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - +0'02"
    3/ Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank-Sungard) - +0'15"
    4/ Ian Stannard (Team Sky)
    5/ Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1-Sanofi)
    6/ Mickael Delage (FDJ) - +0'22"
    7/ Geoffroy Lequatre (Team Radioshack)
    8/ Stuart O'Grady (Team Leopard-Trek)
    9/ Roy Curvers (Skil-Shimano)
    10/ Arnaud Gérard (FDJ) - +0'26"

    The photos of Paris-Tours 2011

    The first photos are already online (the photos you've seen in this article), the other photos will be published soon in the Paris-Tours 2011 photos section.

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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