Preview – Paris-Tours Classic


Giant Shimano rider John Degenkolb the main favourite says ASO in the Paris – Tours French classic on October 12

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Preview – Paris-Tours Classic

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The 108th edition of Paris-Tours will set off from Bonneval on Sunday 12th October, with John Degenkolb as the main favourite if there is a bunch kick. However, many explosive challengers, such as Tony Gallopin or Niki Terpstra, will be capable of disrupting the Giant-Shimano team’s plans.

2013 John Degenkolb Paris Tours

The days are numbered for riders seeking to convince, give greater sparkle to their season or even finish it with a bang by placing their name on a prestigious roll of honour. The winner’s list for Paris-Tours is among the distinctive signs that add lustre to a name: only the toughest riders can emerge victorious from the demanding finish, which has to be negotiated at the end of an almost 240-kilometre route.

Assuming there is a sprint finish involving many riders at the end of the Avenue de Grammont, John Degenkolb seems to be the most likely rider to follow in his own footsteps, for a double that has not been accomplished in Tours since Philippe Gilbert triumphed in both 2008 and 2009.

However, it will not be plain sailing for the German sprinter, who will be battling the two rivals who were either side of him on the podium in 2013: Michael Morkov and especially French champion Arnaud Démare, who has won his last two races (The Flanders Championships and Isbergues GP).

Furthermore, it is perhaps an early attack on the Beau Soleil or Epan slopes, for example, that may lead to success for another rider. There are even more esteemed candidates for this scenario, which may smile upon riders such as Tony Gallopin, who put in an especially good performance at the recent world championships (6th).

The surprise could also be sprung by Niki Terpstra, winner of Paris-Roubaix last spring, or even Sep Vanmarcke. Lastly, among the specialists of this type of race, Sylvain Chavanel proved on the Plouay Grand Prix that his inspiration combined with his cycling skills can still pay off. Thomas Voeckler, still looking for his first victory of the season, will also be attempting to prove that this adage rings true.

The 25 teams selected

South Africa
MTN-Qhubeka: Ciolek (Ger), Konovalovas (Lit)

Team NetApp-Endura: Bennett (Irl)

Lotto-Belisol: Gallopin (Fra), Roelandts (Bel)
Omega Pharma – Quick Step: Maes (Bel), Terpstra (NL)
Wanty – Groupe Gobert: Leukemans (Bel)
TopSport Vlaanderen – Baloise: Van Asbroeck, Wallays (Bel)

BMC Racing Team: Schär (Swi), Van Avermaet (Bel)
Garmin-Sharp: Fernandez (Spa), Nuyens (Bel)
Trek Factory Racing: Devolder (Bel), Popovych (Ukr)

AG2R La Mondiale: S.Dumoulin, Kadri (Fra), Hutarovich (Blr)
FDJ: Démare, Offredo, Le Gac (Fra)
Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement: R.Feillu, Fonseca, Vachon (Fra)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Petit, Sénéchal (Fra)
Team Europcar: Arashiro (Jap), Voeckler (Fra)
BigMat – Auber 93: Dassonville, Rossetto (Fra)
Team La Pomme Marseille 13: Antomarchi, Jules (Fra)
Roubaix Lille Métropole: Barbier (Fra), Planckaert, Vantomme (Bel)

Belkin Pro Cycling Team: Hivert (Fra), Tjallingii (NL), Vanmarcke (Bel)
Team Giant-Shimano: Degenkolb (Ger), Sinkeldam (NL)

Tinkoff-Saxo: Bennati (Ita), Breschel, Morkov (Den)

IAM Cycling: Chavanel (Fra), Haussler (Aus)

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