Greg Van Avermaet beats Marco Marcato to win Paris-Tours
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Greg Van Avermaet beats Marco Marcato to win Paris-Tours

by Shane Stokes at 11:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Breakaway snags top placings in autumn Classic race

Greg Van AvermaetIt’s billed as the sprinters’ Classic but instead it was the breakaway riders who dominated today’s Paris-Tours race, attacking early on in windy conditions and foiling the peloton’s fastmen. Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) was quickest in a two-up gallop with Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil), beating the Italian decisively in their final sprint.

Kasper Larsen Klostergaard (Saxo Bank SunGard) clipped away from the chase group and nabbed third, 15 seconds back, while Ian Stannard (Sky Procycling) outsprinted Lazlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1) for fourth place. FDJ rider Michael Delage had got close to bridging to Van Avermaet and Marcato with five kilometres to go, dragging his team-mate Gerard along after the latter was caught and passed by the other two 7.1 kilometres from the line.

However these were caught by the chase group behind and so Delage had to be content with winning the chasing group sprint for sixth, 22 seconds back.

The result was a very big one for Van Avermaet, who previously won a stage plus the points classification in the 2008 Vuelta a España, and more recently took a stage and the overall in the Tour de Wallonie. “It was very hard. There was a split 100 kilometres from the finish. It was pretty complicated with 20 riders or so. Marcato knew that I, along with O’Grady, was the fastest one in the group. So he attacked and I had to respond. I had to try to hang on in there.

“I am relieved. It is special to make the breakthrough. I was third in San Sebastian, but Paris-Tour is one of the big Classics I like most. I am very relieved to win here. It is a very important step up for my career.”

Pre-race favourites Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) and world champion Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad) were amongst those who lost out, as was the in-form Robbie McEwen. They all missed the big move and while Gilbert got away in another chasing group, he was marked closely and also lacked some of the strength he showed for much of the season.

Still, while he will regret not being able to take his third victory in the race, he can be pleased for Van Avermaet, who will be a team-mate of his next year after Gilbert moves across to the BMC Racing Team. Rather than being intimidated by the arrival of the world’s number one rider for 2011, Van Avermaet is looking forward to racing alongside him and believes that he will also have opportunities.

“We will have a brilliant team next year with Gilbert and Cadel Evans and so on, he smiled. “The team will know now that I can win Classics as well. I will have my chances; it’s good to have won today.”

Klostergaard’s third place came after he clipped away strongly close to the finish. Directeur sportif Dan Frost said afterwards that he was satisfied with the way things played out. “On behalf of the team I'm really about happy about this result,” he said. “For a while out there we were in position wondering whether to support Kasper (Klostergaard) or help catching the breakaway to support Baden (Cooke) in the bunch sprint.

“But mostly I'm immensely proud and happy to see Kasper do a great finale like this one. Throughout every season on the team, he's always supporting other riders and doing his job perfectly so he really deserves this. He's a true fighter and true Saxo Bank-SunGard rider so everyone is pleased about this result.”

Early move followed by bigger breakaway:

The early action saw seven riders clip away, namely William Clarcke (Leopard-Trek), David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1), Andreas Klier (Garmin-Cervélo), Rony Martias (Saur-Sojasun), Sebastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet) and Jurgen van Goolen (Veranda's Willems-Accent). These opened up a lead of over eleven minutes, but this had dropped to below a minute with sixty kilometres to go.

The break was caught soon afterwards, then a large group surged clear in the windy conditions with approximately 55 kilometres left. Amongst those to miss out were 2008 and 2009 winner Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma Lotto), last year’s champ Oscar Freire (Rabobank), world champion Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad) and Wallonie-Picardie winner Robbie McEwen (RadioShack), who told VeloNation in the build-up to the race that he had the form to win, but that he hoped things played out in his favour.

Despite their absence, the bunch took too long to get organised and the large break pulled further and further ahead. Amongst those out from were Van Avermaet, Marcato, Klostergaard, Staanard, Bodrogi, Delage, Geoffroy Lequatre (Team RadioShack), O’Grady, Roy Curvers (Skil-Shimano) and Arnaud Gerard (FDJ), who would all fill the top ten, as well as several others including Clarke, Bertogliati, Leonard Duque (Cofidis) and Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank).

The gap went out to over a minute and a half with 38 kilometres left, but this gap started to fall when the HTC Highroad team mounted a frantic chase for Cavendish. At that point in time the break was within range of being caught, but the cooperation out front was as good as that behind, and the move had one minute 32 seconds with 25 kilometres left.

Sensing defeat and with Cavendish also feeling fatigued, the HTC Higroad team stopped chasing. McEwen wasn’t impressed with the chance to win his first and last Paris-Tours going out the window and started gesturing at others to work, but this did little to spur them on.

Gilbert was also frustrated and clipped away in a group. With 19 kilometres to go, that move was one minute 17 seconds back and the Belgian tried to get something consistent organised. However the other riders didn’t cooperate and instead Matt Hayman (Sky Procycling) surged clear with HTC Highroad’s Plan B John Degenkolb and Damien Gaudin (Europcar). This group was more successful and steadily gained time on the Cavendish/Gilbert bunch.

Ahead, the leaders were starting to get edgy, due in part to the gap falling, and started attacking each other. Gerard seized his moment with 14 kilometres to go and pushed clear, riding well to open a good advantage. Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) jumped away from the peloton to try to bridge, but would be unable to do so; ahead, Bodrogi was also feeling aggressive and launched a similar solo move from the break. However this and a subsequently surge by his team-mate Bertogliatti were both unsuccessful in staying ahead.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil) were feeling good and, waiting until they were inside the final ten kilometres, they put in a big move. They closed up on a tiring Gerard, whipping past him quickly on the Cote de l’Epan climb with 7.1 kilometres to go, and pulling ahead.

Gerard’s team-mate Delage came across and helped him to try to chase back on. They kept the leading duo within sight and still had a chance with five kilometres to go, with the gap there being a handful of seconds. However those behind were also coming back at them and with three kilometres left, on the outskirts of Tours, the two FDJ chasers were reeled in by a six man chasing group.

O’Grady was there, as were Bodrogi, Delage, Lequatre, Curvers and Klostergaard. They were joined soon afterwards by Stannard, who rode well to bridge across, then Klostergaard put in a big surge inside the final two kilometres and went clear.

He did his utmost to get back to the two leaders but was twenty seconds down going under the kite, and had left it too late. Van Avermaet was glued to Marcato’s wheel and kept the Italian there until he was ready to make his move, then kicked hard inside the final 250 metres and immediately opened a winning gap.


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Paris-Tours (1.HC) Results: Voves to Tours (230.5km)

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
bel BEL 1 Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) 05:21:43
ita ITA 2 Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:00:02
den DEN 3 Kasper Larsen Klostergaard (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 00:00:15
gbr GBR 4 Ian Stannard (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 5 Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) s.t.
fra FRA 6 Mickaël Delage (Française Des Jeux) 00:00:22
fra FRA 7 Geoffroy Lequatre (RadioShack) s.t.
aus AUS 8 Stuart O' Grady (LEOPARD - TREK) s.t.
ned NED 9 Roy Curvers (Skil-Shimano) s.t.
fra FRA 10 Arnaud Gerard (Française Des Jeux) 00:00:26
ger GER 11 John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad) 00:00:48
aus AUS 12 Mathew Hayman (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 13 David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto ) s.t.
ned NED 14 Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) s.t.
fra FRA 15 Damien Gaudin (Europcar) s.t.
ukr UKR 16 Vitaliy Buts (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
bel BEL 17 Sebastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.
sui SUI 18 Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1 - SANOFI) 00:00:53
aus AUS 19 Robbie Mcewen (RadioShack) 00:01:23
esp ESP 20 Oscar Gomez Freire (Rabobank) s.t.
fra FRA 21 Adrien Petit (Cofidis) s.t.
ned NED 22 Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) s.t.
usa USA 23 Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) s.t.
lat LAT 24 Aleksejs Saramotins (Cofidis) s.t.
nzl NZL 25 Gregory Henderson (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 26 Laurent Pichon (Bretagne Schuller) s.t.
ita ITA 27 Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
bel BEL 28 Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
bel BEL 29 Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) s.t.
ned NED 30 Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
aus AUS 31 Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
fra FRA 32 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ned NED 33 Jetse Bol (Rabobank) s.t.
fra FRA 34 Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
fra FRA 35 Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) s.t.
bel BEL 36 Steven Van Vooren (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) s.t.
jpn JPN 37 Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 38 Tony Gallopin (Cofidis) s.t.
ger GER 39 Roger Kluge (Skil-Shimano) s.t.
gbr GBR 40 Daniel Lloyd (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
fra FRA 41 Frédéric Guesdon (Française Des Jeux) s.t.
gbr GBR 42 Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
fra FRA 43 Yoann Offredo (Française Des Jeux) s.t.
den DEN 44 Lars Ytting Bak (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
aus AUS 45 Christopher Sutton (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 46 Arnaud Coyot (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
fra FRA 47 Anthony Geslin (Française Des Jeux) s.t.
sui SUI 48 Michael Schar (BMC Racing) s.t.
aus AUS 49 Zakkari Dempster (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
esp ESP 50 Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 51 Romain Lemarchand (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
fra FRA 52 Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) s.t.
nor NOR 53 Kurt-asle Arvesen (Team Sky) s.t.
bel BEL 54 Nikolas Maes (Quick Step) s.t.
fra FRA 55 Jeremie Galland (Saur-Sojasun) 00:01:31
bel BEL 56 Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:01:34
ita ITA 57 Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing) 00:01:36
ger GER 58 Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing) s.t.
ita ITA 59 Mauro Santambrogio (BMC Racing) s.t.
ned NED 60 Bram Tankink (Rabobank) s.t.
fra FRA 61 Matthieu Ladagnous (Française Des Jeux) s.t.
bel BEL 62 Maarten Wynants (Rabobank) s.t.
ger GER 63 Andreas Klier (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
col COL 64 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Cofidis) s.t.
ned NED 65 Bert-jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
ger GER 66 Johannes Frohlinger (Skil-Shimano) 00:01:40
bel BEL 67 Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto ) 00:01:46
bel BEL 68 Steven Caethoven (Veranda's Willems - Accent) 00:02:14
fra FRA 69 Julien Fouchard (Cofidis) s.t.
bel BEL 70 Kristof Goddaert (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
bel BEL 71 Staf Scheirlinckx (Veranda's Willems - Accent) 00:02:30
nor NOR 72 Gabriel Rasch (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
sui SUI 73 Martin Kohler (BMC Racing) s.t.
fra FRA 74 Nicolas Rousseau (Big Mat - Auber 93) s.t.
svk SVK 75 Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
fra FRA 76 Rony Martias (Saur-Sojasun) 00:02:47
bel BEL 77 Jurgen Van Goolen (Veranda's Willems - Accent) s.t.
fra FRA 78 Sébastien Chavanel (Europcar) 00:03:17
fra FRA 79 Cyril Lemoine (Saur-Sojasun) 00:04:22
den DEN 80 Andre Steensen (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 00:07:25
aus AUS 81 Graeme Brown (Rabobank) s.t.
pol POL 82 Michal Kwiatkowski (RadioShack) s.t.
irl IRL 83 Matthew Brammeier (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
bel BEL 84 Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) s.t.
ned NED 85 Coen Vermeltfoort (Rabobank) 00:13:56
aus AUS 86 William Clarke (LEOPARD - TREK) s.t.
esp ESP 87 Inaki Isasi Flores (Euskaltel - Euskadi) 00:15:11
esp ESP 88 Jorge Azanza Soto (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
esp ESP 89 Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
slo SLO DNF Aldo Ino Ilesic (Team Type 1 - SANOFI)  
ita ITA DNF Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1 - SANOFI)  
fra FRA DNF Alexandre Pichot (Europcar)  
fra FRA DNF Brice Feillu (LEOPARD - TREK)  
usa USA DNF Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad)  
can CAN DNF David Veilleux (Europcar)  
ita ITA DNF Davide Vigano (LEOPARD - TREK)  
bel BEL DNF Davy Commeijne (Landbouwkrediet)  
ukr UKR DNF Denys Kostyuk (Lampre-ISD)  
ger GER DNF Dominik Klemme (LEOPARD - TREK)  
bel BEL DNF Evert Verbist (Veranda's Willems - Accent)  
fra FRA DNF Flavien Dassonville (Big Mat - Auber 93)  
bel BEL DNF Francis De Greef (Omega Pharma-Lotto )  
fra FRA DNF Guillaume Blot (Bretagne Schuller)  
fra FRA DNF Guillaume Levarlet (Saur-Sojasun)  
esp ESP DNF Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Euskaltel - Euskadi)  
esp ESP DNF Javier Mejias Leal (Team Type 1 - SANOFI)  
fra FRA DNF Jean Luc Delpech (Bretagne Schuller)  
lux LUX DNF Jempy Drucker (Veranda's Willems - Accent)  
nzl NZL DNF Jesse Sergent (RadioShack)  
fra FRA DNF Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun)  
bel BEL DNF Joeri Stallaert (Landbouwkrediet)  
fra FRA DNF Johan Mombaerts (Big Mat - Auber 93)  
fra FRA DNF Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun)  
esp ESP DNF Jonathan Nicolas Castroviejo (Euskaltel - Euskadi)  
fra FRA DNF Jonathan Thire (Big Mat - Auber 93)  
fra FRA DNF Julien Loubet (Ag2r-La Mondiale)  
fra FRA DNF Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun)  
bel BEL DNF Kevin Peeters (Landbouwkrediet)  
bel BEL DNF Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)  
ned NED DNF Martijn Verschoor (Team Type 1 - SANOFI)  
fra FRA DNF Matthieu Sprick (Skil-Shimano)  
fra FRA DNF Maxime Mederel (Big Mat - Auber 93)  
bel BEL DNF Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)  
esp ESP DNF Miguel Minguez (Euskaltel - Euskadi)  
bel BEL DNF Nico Sijmens (Cofidis)  
ger GER DNF Patrick Gretsch (HTC-Highroad)  
esp ESP DNF Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armienta (Euskaltel - Euskadi)  
fra FRA DNF Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel - Euskadi)  
bel BEL DNF Pieter Jacobs (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)  
bel BEL DNF Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)  
ned NED DNF Reinier Honig (Landbouwkrediet)  
fra FRA DNF Renaud Dion (Bretagne Schuller)  
fra FRA DNF Romain Bacon (Big Mat - Auber 93)  
fra FRA DNF Ronan Racault (Big Mat - Auber 93)  
ger GER DNF Rüdiger Selig (LEOPARD - TREK)  
gbr GBR DNF Russell Downing (Team Sky)  
fra FRA DNF Saïd Haddou (Europcar)  
fra FRA DNF Sebastien Duret (Bretagne Schuller)  
bel BEL DNF Sjef De Wilde (Veranda's Willems - Accent)  
fra FRA DNF Tristan Valentin (Cofidis)  
ukr UKR DNF Valery Kobzarenko (Team Type 1 - SANOFI)  
fra FRA DNF Vincent Jerome (Europcar)  
bel BEL DNF Wim De Vocht (Veranda's Willems - Accent)  
ned NED DNF Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM)  

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