Sylvain Chavanel looking for Paris-Tours luck in final race for Omega Pharma-Quick Step
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Sylvain Chavanel looking for Paris-Tours luck in final race for Omega Pharma-Quick Step

by Ben Atkins at 4:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Tours
Frenchman hoping to be a “protagonist” in the race that made his name as a neo-pro

sylvain chavanelSylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is hoping for better fortune than usual in Sunday’s Paris-Tours, as the French Classic sees him race his last race for the Belgian team. The 34-year-old Frenchman made his name in the 200 edition of the race, as a peroxide blonde 21-year-old, when he gained more than half an hour on the peloton but was ultimately caught before the finish.

“In this race I never had a lot of luck," Chavanel said."But to me this race is important because in 2000 it was the race that gave me visibility when I was young. I took a solo breakaway for 220km alone, with 33 minutes of a maximum gap, and I was caught 15km from the finish. The big cycling public discovered me that day, so it remains an important race for me.

“Last year I went into the breakaway and did a good race, but was not present in the final,” he continued. “This year I would like to be there in a key moment of the race. It is also my last race with the team and I would like to close my experience with this great team with a good performance. We had great years together and that is why I would like to leave with a great race. This week I trained well, even on the parcours of the race, so I am pretty confident in being a protagonist and being there in the final on Sunday."

Although Chavanel was not able to be there when it counted in last year’s race, Omega Pharma-Quick Step was represented in the finale by then Dutch champion Niki Terpstra, who finished third in the three-up sprint against winner Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

Omega Pharma-Quick Step directeur sportif Rik Van Slycke expects his riders to be there when it counts again.

“This is a race where normally the riders who are motivated are able to do well," said Van Slycke. "In our team we have two leaders: Niki Terpstra and Sylvain Chavanel, who need no further explanation as to their skills.

“Terpstra was also third last year,” Van Slycke explained. “But behind those two riders we have young guys like Pieter Serry and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck. They are different athletes with different skills, who can both try to get a result in different race scenarios. Van Keirsbulck can be there for the sprint and Serry can make a move before the finish. It is an opportunity for them and also the rest of the team who has to support them.

“We are looking forward to this race to do something good." 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step team for Paris-Tours
Sylvain Chavanel, Andrew Fenn, Iljo Keisse, Frantisek Rabon, Pieter Serry, Niki Terpstra, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Martin Velits


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