On October the 6th the 60th edition of the Paris-Tours Espoirs will be on its
way, 188,5 fairly flat kilometres between Bonneval and Tours, which each year
detects some of the most talented Sprinters in the U23 category.
Last year's event was won by French speedster Samuel Dumoulin, who now is
riding among the pros at Jean Delatour. In 2000 it was one of this year's spring
heroes among the pros, Tom Boonen (US Postal), who stole the limelight with a
strong performances, while in 1999 it was the young Lotto Sprinter Gorik Gardeyn
who could raise his arms after crossing the line first in convincing fashion and
take a very prestigious win. This year's event will have its usually strong line
up with no less than seven national teams, plus some of the strongest amateur
teams in Europe including Vellutex Zoccorinese, Credit Agricole Espoirs, Nantes
44, CC Etupes, and Vendee U.
Among the Favourites will be last year's runner up and Current World U23
number one, Mikhail Timochine (Vellutex Zoccorinese), who will become pro next
season under the wings of none other than Ernesto Colnago at Landbouwkrediet -
Colnago. So far this season Mikhail Timochine has accomplished winning the
amateur version of Paris - Roubaix, he finished second in the Amateur version of
Liège-Bastogne-Liège, also making the podium in the amateur version of Ronde van
Vlaanderen, and has shown an incredible consistency thoughout the entire season.
He has been compared to no other than last year's major prodigy in the U23
ranks, fellow Ukrainian Yaroslav "The Great" Popovich.
The French National team will bring a very strong lineup including the
extremely quick and talented Lloyd Mondory (currently on trial with AG2R), who
will be one of the absolute hottest favourites for glory, while teammates Arnaud
Coyot, Eric Berthou, and Mathieu Sprick will be looking for the chance to shine
if the opportunity should offer itself.
The Portuguese National Team will bring there two incredible talented
youngest Sergio Paulinho, and Hernani Broco, who both will be looking to making
a strong performance, and can relay on total support from the rest of there
teammates. The Scandinavian flag will be defended by the Norwegian national
team, who will be working determinedly in order to try set up their fast wheel,
Lars Breiseth, in the best possibly position.
Other names to watch out for include 22 year old French climber Maryan Hary
(Vendee-U), who will join Jean René Bernaudeau´s Bonjour team next season where
the team will change name to Brioches La Boulangère-Vendée, but also the current
CSC-Tiscali stagiaire, Frank Schleck, who represents the national team of
Luxembourg, will try making a strong impact, as will Geoffrey Lequatre (Credit
Agricole Espoirs), Cédric Deruyter (Pole France Wasquehal) and Nicolas Moncomble
So again this year the Paris-Tours Espoirs looks set for an interesting
encounter between some of the stars of tomorrow, who will be trying hard to get
the upper hand on some of their competitors before the ultimate showdown at the
U23 worlds in Zolder in less than a week's time.
Recent years' winners of the Paris-Tours Espoirs:
2001 Samuel Dumoulin
2000 Tom Boonen
1999 Gorik Gardeyn
1998 Thor Hushovd