Mythical Avenue de Grammont finish to remain in Paris-Tours
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mythical Avenue de Grammont finish to remain in Paris-Tours

by Jered Gruber at 1:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Road work on finishing straight will shorten the Avenue de Grammont from 3000 meters to 800

Oscar Freire's 2010 Paris-Tours victory on the famed Avenue de Grammont will not prove to be the final on the legendary road as previously feared. La Nouvelle Republique reports that despite road work on the Avenue de Grammont, the race route has been modified so that one of the most famous finishes in the sport of cycling can remain.

The finale will take on a very different look though. Part of the mystique of the finish of Paris-Tours is the nearly perfect straight line of three kilometers that is the Avenue de Grammont. In 2011, the former 3000 kilometers of dead straight on the Avenue de Grammont will become only 800 meters - still a fair piece of straight road for a mighty bunch kick.

The rest of the race's normally thrilling final will remain more or less then same with the three short, tough hills in the final ten kilometers, giving way to the Avenue de Grammont for the finale.

The late turns required by the deviation and shortening the time spent on the Avenue de Grammont could possibly swing the race slightly in favor of the aggressors. It's typically a toss up as to whether the attackers, like Philippe Gilbert, can wrest free of the powerful bunch in the final lumpy kilometers as the race heads for the Avenue de Grammont. A slightly more technical finale could keep the chasing field at bay for another second or two, and when it comes to Paris-Tours, a second or two can be absolutely crucial. However, a couple of extra turns will probably not affect the outcome one way or another.

The sports coordinator of the city of Tours, Jean-Jacques Place, was happy with the resolution to keep the famed road as the race's conclusion.

"A few alternative routes had been tested, but [ASO Director] Jean-Francois Pecheux chose a route where the [finale's] hills are preserved. If the reactions of the riders are positive, we will continue with this route in the future. If they are negative, we will modify it again."

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