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Paris - Tours
 
By Podofdonny
Date: 10/5/2002
Paris - Tours
 

History

Through a long but somewhat chequered history, Paris - Tours remains still one of the great classics. The great enemy, as in Paris - Brussels, is the wind. When it is from the South-West, the race can become a slog - Peter Pieters averaged just 34kmh to win in 1988, the slowest winning speed for 57 years. Conversely, if the wind is behind, the race takes on its role of fastest of all the classics; it was for his winning average of nearly 42kmh that Gustaf Daneels was awarded the first Ruban Jaune in 1936, and that award has remained intimately tied up with Paris - Tours ever since. When Andrei Tchmil won in 1997, he averaged over 48kmh for a race of 250km.

The route and format have varied somewhat over the years; the first part takes in the hills of the Chevreuse Valley before running along the Loire, generally flat and fast. As the roads improved in the 1920s and speeds went up, the event became known as the Sprinters' Classic. To prevent this state of affairs, in 1959 the organisers added a finishing circuit with a hill called l'Alouette, to be covered three times. By supreme irony, the winner, in a solo break, was Van Looy, the quickest sprinter in the race! The next restriction, in 1965, was to limit the riders to just two gears, enforced by having double sided hubs, last used in the 1930s. Somehow sufficient hubs were rounded up for the entire peloton, but to little avail; even more the race became a flat burn up to Tours. That the winners were Reybroeck twice and Karstens speaks volumes about the efficacy of the idea, which was soon quietly dropped.

Throughout the seventies and early eighties, more fundamental changes took place, with the event being reversed, generally as Blois - Chaville. This presented a different character to the race, since now the Chevreuse came at the end of the race, rather than the beginning, and some interesting racing took place. However in 1988, the race reverted to the traditional Paris - Tours, without the Alouette climb, and with the finish on the long, straight Avenue de Grammont - the classic ending to the Sprinters' Classic. (Tom James)

Local Flavour

Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines : the art of living

A charming little town in the Chevreuse Valley, favoured by cyclists, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines (5.700 inhabitants) ten years ago decided to house the start of Paris-Tours. Hence, over a 48 hour period, an animation takes hold of the town. A real art of living can be felt in Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, where Paris-Tours returns to its Autumn quarters in a very pleasant atmosphere, especially if the Autumn sun is shining down.

Tours: Sport is second nature

With 137,000 inhabitants, an urban area of 298,000 inhabitants and approximately 30,000 students, the town of Tours, in the heart of the Central Region of France ? of which it is the largest town ? is situated on a major axis of European communication (a motorway ?star? with five branches) and figures among the great economic centres situated less than an hour from Paris (by TGV). Thanks to the recent direct link up with Roissy- Charles-de-Gaulle airport (1h45), the town now has a real international vocation.

Endowed with a remarkably preserved architectural, historical and cultural inheritance, Tours is a town with a captivating charm. A town of art and history, a former Gallo-Roman city, then capital of the kingdom of France, Tours benefits from an exceptional situation in the heart of the famous Loire Valley with its prestigious chateaux. Tours is also a welcoming and friendly town with its gastronomy, encounters through unique events, its symphony orchestra, opera, choral singing, French melodies, contemporary music, theatre, contemporary dance. In total, 14 festivals are proposed yearly to the people of Tours.

Sport in Tours is second nature! Tours and its surrounding areas have the use of exceptional infrastructures : a Sports Centre, one of the biggest in France, a water sports complex, a stadium with more than 13,000 places, three 18 hole golf courses and a Regional Sports Centre. On top of all that, the Town doesn?t forget those for whom sport is synonymous with liberty and discovery : hence spaces for rollerblading and jogging are made available, and an emphasis is placed on the development of sport in defavourised areas. In 1999 the Town also set up a Sports School, which allows young people to try out thirty or so activities, for a very modest fee.

But the hearts of the Tours population also beat to the rhythm of the great events that puncuate the year ? cycling with the Tour de France, Tours being a stage town in 2000, or the Paris-Tours, which celebrated its centenary edition in 1996, without forgetting running races with the 20 km of Tours, the Bicross Indoor international or the Montgolfiades. (Official Site)

Preview

Former bad boy Richard Virenque may have completed his redemption, however on Sunday the Domo rider is likely to be given less freedom of expression in the Paris to Tours World Cup race.

Virenque, 32, shocked the rest of the field to win last year's Paris-Tours, the penultimate race of the season-long World Cup, after an audacious breakaway in the company of feisty French compatriot Jacky Durand.

Welcomed by his huge legion of fans who have supported him through the agonies of the Festina drugs trial two years ago, Virenque's victory had little effect in the standings as Dutchman Erik Dekker was practically assured of overall victory.

This time, the race - held over 257 mainly flat kilometers and where the maximum altitude reaches 200 meters - should be a more managed affair.

Only two points separate current World Cup leader Paolo Bettini (272) of Italy from the man who is considered the greatest one-day classic rider of recent times, Belgium's 'Lion of Flanders' Johann Museeuw (270).

Museeuw has won two of the 10 World Cup races so far in what has been a very successful season for Italian riders, who nevertheless have failed to shine on the bigger races such as the Tour de France.

With Spaniard Igor Astarloa of the Saeco team sitting in third overall on 152 points ahead of the season-ending Tour of Lombardy, on October 19, the two-man race for the title seems to be on.

However both Museeuw and Bettini will not be alone in trying to win one of the oldest races to still feature on the circuit.

The Paris-Tours has been on the go since 1896, when it was open to amateurs, and past winners include Museeuw (1993), German Erik Zabel (1994), Ukrainian-turned-Belgian Andrei Tchmil (1997) and Italian Andrea Tafi (2000).

A look at their respective physiques speaks volumes for the kind of qualities needed to win.

Virenque may not exactly fit the bill - the five-time winner of the polka dot jersey for the Tour de France's best climber would have been swallowed up last year had he been involved in a bunch sprint to the line.

On Sunday, a bunch sprint is the likely outcome, where powerfully-built sprinters like Zabel, Museeuw and McEwan could rub shoulders with Mapei's world road race champion Oscar Freire, Bettini or up and coming Australian sprinter Baden Cooke of fdjeux.com.(AP)

Team News

Saeco-Longoni Sport at Paris-Tours on Sunday with four worlds riders and the Italian champion Four national team riders for the world championships and the Italian national champion will represent Saeco-Longoni Sport at Paris-Tours, the penultimate round of the 2002 World Cup.

Naturally everybody will be watching the riders selected for the world championships in Zolder.

The Saeco team leader will be Spaniard Igor Astarloa one of the revelations of this year?s World Cup competition. He will be looking for another good result to defend his third place overall in the world Cup standings which he obtained thanks to great rides in the HEW Cyclassics Cup in Hamburg and the Clasica San Sebastian in Spain.

Along with Astarloa, Directuer sportif Guido Bontempi will also have Italian team member Fabio Sacchi, Lithuanian Marius Sabaliauskas, Austrian Gerrit Glomser, Italian champion Salvatore Commesso, Cristian Pepoli and Joerg Ludewig.

However Danilo Di Luca will not take part in Paris-Tours. After a lot of racing this month, he has decided to rest up and fine-tune his preparation ready for Zolder

DOMO - FARM FRITES

1 - VIRENQUE Richard FRA 2 - CRETSKENS Wilfried BEL

3 - MUSEEUW Johan BEL

4 - VAINSTEINS Romans LAT

5 - VAN BON Leon NED

6 - VAN HEESWIJK Max NED

7 - VANDENBROUCKE Frank BEL

8 - WADECKI Piotr POL

MAPEI - QUICK STEP

11 - BETTINI Paolo ITA

12 - BRAMATI Davide ITA

13 - CLERC Aurélien SUI

14 - FREIRE Oscar ESP

15 - HORRILLO Pedro ESP

16 - HULSMANS Kevin BEL

17 - NARDELLO Daniele ITA

18 - PAOLINI Luca ITA

FASSA BORTOLO

21 - BARTOLI Michele ITA

22 - IVANOV Serguei RUS

23 - KIRCHEN Kim LUX

24 - KONYSHEV Dimitri RUS

25 - LODA Nicola ITA

26 - PETACCHI Alessandro ITA

27 - TOSATTO Matteo ITA

28 - ZANETTE Denis ITA

COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE

31 - PLANCKAERT Jo BEL

32 - CLAIN Médéric FRA

33 - MATTAN Nico BEL

34 - PEERS Chris BEL

35 - TESSIER Jean-Michel FRA

36 - TOMBAK Janeck EST

37 - TRENTIN Guido ITA

38 - VASSEUR Cédric FRA

LOTTO - ADECCO

41 - MC EWEN Robbie AUS

42 - D'HOLLANDER Glenn BEL

43 - EECKHOUT Nico BEL

44 - GARDEYN Gorik BEL

45 - VAN DIJK Stefan NED

46 - VAN IMPE Kévin BEL

47 - VAN PETEGEM Peter BEL

48 - VIERHOUTEN Aart NED

SAECO - LONGONI SPORT

51 - DI LUCA Danilo ITA

52 - ASTARLOA Igor ESP

53 - COMMESSO Salvatore ITA

54 - GLOMSER Gerrit AUT

55 - LUDEWIG Jorg GER

56 - PEPOLI Christian ITA

57 - SABALIAUSKAS Marius LTU

58 - SACCHI Fabio ITA

RABOBANK

61 - WAUTERS Marc BEL

62 - BOOGERD Michaël NED

63 - BOVEN Jan NED

64 - DE JONGH Steven NED

65 - HAYMAN Mathew AUS

66 - KROON Karsten NED

67 - TRAKSEL Bobbie NED

68 - ZBERG Beat SUI

LAMPRE - DAIKIN

71 - BERTOGLIATI Rubens SUI

72 - CORTINOVIS Alessandro ITA

73 - DIERCKXSENS Ludo BEL

74 - MISSAGLIA Gabriele ITA

75 - PICCOLI Mariano ITA

76 - SCIANDRI Maximilian GBR

77 - SERPELLINI Marco ITA

78 - SPRUCH Zbigniew POL

TACCONI SPORT

81 - FRIGO Dario ITA

82 - BORTOLAMI Gianluca ITA

83 - BOSSONI Paolo ITA

84 - FERRARI Diego ITA

85 - GEROSA Mauro ITA

86 - HAUPTMAN Andrej SLO

87 - MINALI Nicola ITA

88 - RADAELLI Mauro ITA

TEAM TELEKOM

91 - ZABEL Erik GER

92 - ALDAG Rolf GER

93 - BARTKO Robert GER

94 - HONDO Danilo GER

95 - HUNDERTMARCK Kai GER

96 - KESSLER Matthias GER

97 - KLIER Andreas GER

98 - SCHAFFRATH Jan GER

TEAM COAST

101 - GUIDI Fabrizio ITA

102 - ADAMSSON Stefan SWE

103 - GIANETTI Mauro SUI

104 - HOJ Frank DEN

105 - KORFF André GER

106 - MICHAELSEN Lars DEN

107 - RADOCHLA Steffen GER

108 - SCHWEDA Raphael GER

TEAM CSC TISCALI

111 - JALABERT Laurent FRA

112 - ASMAKER Olivier FRA

113 - DEAN Julian NZL

114 - HOFFMAN Tristan NED

115 - JALABERT Nicolas FRA

116 - PIIL Jakob DEN

117 - PIZIKS Arvis LAT

118 - VAN BONDT Geert BEL

ACQUA & SAPONE - CANTINA TOLLO

121 - CIPOLLINI Mario ITA

122 - BENNATI Daniele ITA

123 - CONTI Roberto ITA

124 - GONZALEZ Santos ESP

125 - LOMBARDI Giovanni ITA

126 - POSPYEYEV Kyrylo UKR

127 - SCIREA Mario ITA

128 - TRENTI Guido USA

US POSTAL SERVICE

131 - BOONEN Tom BEL

132 - CASEY Dylan USA

133 - CRUZ Antonio USA

134 - EKIMOV Vjatceslav RUS

135 - JOACHIM Benoit LUX

136 - KJAERGAARD Steffen NOR

137 - VANDEVELDE Christian USA

138 - WHITE Matthew AUS

ONCE - EROSKI

141 - ANDRLE René CZE

142 - CARUSO Giampaolo ITA

143 - DIAZ Rafael ESP

144 - FLORENCIO Xavier ESP

145 - JAKSCHE Jorg GER

146 - NOZAL Isidro ESP

147 - PRADERA Mikel ESP

GEROLSTEINER

151 - REBELLIN Davide ITA

152 - HASELBACHER Rene AUT

153 - LANG Sebastian GER

154 - POLLACK Olaf GER

155 - RUSKYS Saulius LTU

156 - SCHMIDT Torsten GER

157 - SCHOLZ Ronny GER

158 - WROLICH Peter AUT

IBANESTO.COM

161 - MANCEBO Francisco ESP

162 - BROZYNA Thomasz POL

163 - FLECHA Juan Antonio ESP

164 - GARCIA ACOSTA Vicente ESP

165 - GUTIERREZ José Ivan ESP

166 - LASTRAS Pablo ESP

167 - OSA Aitor ESP

168 - VILA Javier ESP

CREDIT AGRICOLE

171 - HUSHOVD Thor NOR

172 - FEDRIGO Pierrick FRA

173 - HINAULT Sébastien FRA

174 - JENNER Christopher FRA

175 - MOREAU Christophe FRA

176 - O'GRADY Stuart AUS

177 - POILVET Benoit FRA

178 - VOIGT Jens GER

BIGMAT.AUBER 93

181 - HUNT Jérémy GBR

182 - AUGER Ludovic FRA

183 - BROUZES Niels FRA

184 - LEVECOT Benjamin FRA

185 - MEUNIER Nicolas FRA

186 - SAUGRAIN Cyril FRA

187 - SIVAKOV Alexei RUS

188 - TALABARDON Sébastien FRA

EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI

191 - ARTETXE Mikel ESP

192 - FLORES Iker ESP

193 - GERRIKAGOITIA Gorka ESP

194 - ISASI Inaki ESP

195 - MAYO Iban ESP

196 - SILLONIZ Aitor ESP

197 - SILLONIZ Josu ESP

198 - ZUBELDIA Haimar ESP

BONJOUR

201 - MAGNIEN Emmanuel FRA

202 - GESLIN Anthony FRA

203 - GUILBERT Charles FRA

204 - PERRAUDEAU Olivier FRA

205 - RENIER Franck FRA

206 - ROUS Didier FRA

207 - SALANSON Fabrice FRA

208 - VOECKLER Thomas FRA

FDJeux.com

211 - MC GEE Bradley AUS

212 - CASAR Sandy FRA

213 - CASPER Jimmy FRA

214 - COOKE Baden AUS

215 - DURAND Jacky FRA

216 - GUESDON Frédéric FRA

217 - VOGONDY Nicolas FRA

218 - WILSON Matthew AUS

KELME - COSTA BLANCA

221 - SEVILLA Oscar ESP

222 - GUTIERREZ Ignacio ESP

223 - GUTIERREZ José Enrique ESP

224 - JULIA CEGARRA José Cayetano ESP

225 - MUNOZ David ESP

226 - VALVERDE Alejandro ESP

AG2R PREVOYANCE

231 - KIRSIPUU Jaan EST

232 - AGNOLUTTO Christophe FRA

233 - AUS Lauri EST

234 - BOTCHAROV Alexandre RUS

235 - CAPELLE Ludovic BEL

236 - FLICKINGER Andy FRA

237 - PORTAL Nicolas FRA

238 - TURPIN Ludovic FRA

JEAN DELATOUR

241 - BROCHARD Laurent FRA

242 - AUGE Stéphane FRA

243 - BOUVARD Gilles FRA

244 - DUMOULIN Samuel FRA

245 - FINOT Frédéric FRA

246 - HALGAND Patrice FRA

247 - LAUKKA Joona FIN

248 - OLIVIER Lenaïc FRA


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