Tours, Sunday, October 11th, 2015
Matteo Trentin, like a whirlwind
The 119th edition of Paris-Tours went the way of a rider that the race seemed suited to: complete and fast. Being part of the breakaway of the day and helped by a favourable tail wind, Matteo Trentin (EQS) took the win at Tours ahead of Tosh Van der Sande (LTS) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) after more than 220 kilometres put in by the group of leaders. The Italian rider completes his season with a victory at the end of the Grammont Avenue and sets a new record for the race with an average speed of 49.642kph. Trentin triumphs on the fastest edition of the Autumn classic, created in 1896.
31 riders in the wind
Under clear skies and seasonal weather conditions (9° at the start), a field of 182 riders set off just a few hundred metres from the Notre-Dame cathedral, near the banks of the Eure river, at 11.30 am for a 231km race across the plains and with the wind towards the city of Tour for the finish on the Grammont avenue. For a majority of the peloton this was the final event of the season. The first half of the race was mostly exposed to the wind. At kilometre 8.5, 30 impatient riders rode off the back wheel of Alexis Gougeard (ALM) to create the breakaway group of the day as they crossed the Beauce plains. Among the escapees, there were four riders from the Lotto-Soudal team (including Tony Gallopin and Tiesj Benoot), three from Etixx-Quick Step (including Matteo Trentin), three representing Bretagne-Séché (including Kévin Ledanois), three in the colours of Lotto NL-Jumbo as well as a few Spring standouts, like Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Edward Theuns (TSV) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC). The peloton, split by the wind and fractioned by the crosswinds, struggled to put in a counter attack.
A tardy counter-attack, the peloton out of contention
At the end of the first hour of the race at an average speed of 52.5kph, a group of 90 riders left Bonneval (the start town for the Paris-Tour Prospects) 1:40 behind the leaders. Slowed by a penalizing wind, the lead group extended their advantage from the field. 19 riders set off on a counter-attack behind the break away group, which was now reduced to 25 riders. Among them there were some who were clear contenders for the win but who were not part of the initial break away, like The Netherlands national champion, Niki Terpstra (EQS), sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (COF), two past winners of the race (Marco Marcato (WGG) and Jelle Wallays (TSV) and the recent winner of Binche-Chimay-Binche, Ramon Sinkeldam (TGA). 40 kilometres from the finish line, the 25 riders at the sharp end of the order had a more than nine minute lead from the peloton, where the riders who had been caught out earlier lost all chance for the win. The chase group wasn’t able to organize a serious threat and the gap stabilized at around 2:40. At the top of the Côte de Crochu (km204), and following the fall of Nacer Bouhanni, the nine strongest riders of the counter-attack group were still at 2:10 and no longer in contention for the victory.
Lotto-Soudal on the attack, Van Avermaet unlucky
In the fight for the win among the morning attackers, the Lotto-Soudal team, in a commanding position with four riders at the front, animated the last ten kilometres by repeatedly attacking the group of leaders. But on the Côte de l’Epan, with seven kilometres to go, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) put in the frankest attack. Right off his back wheel, Tosh Van der Sande (LTS) and Matteo Trentin (EQS) managed to pull away from the others. Five kilometres from the line, Gougeard tried to join the leaders but the three passed under the two-kilometre banner with a 20-second advantage and headed towards a three-rider battle for the win. 1.5 kilometres from the finish, Greg Van Avermaet suffered a puncture, which eliminated him from the sprint. 200 metres from the line, Matteo Trentin moved ahead of the young 24-year old Tosh Van der Sande (LTS) and made the most of his top speed to take his finest victory of the season, in the classic of the falling leaves, his last race of 2015. After two stage wins on the Tour de France in 2013 and 2014, the 26-year old rider showed that his team can also count on him on the one-day classics. Tiesj Benoot won the sprint amongst the beaten in the breakaway of the day. Démare (FDG) was 12th and Gallopin (LTS) was 15th. In the Prospects race, Sam Oomen (Rabobank Development Team) won in 3H53:39 ahead of his team mate Martijn Tusveld and Belgium’s Maxime Farazijn (EFC – Etixx).
Free of rights pictures – Paris-Tours 2015
Credits : A.S.O.
|Press contact : Amaury Bodin
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