Sunday's final Classic of the year, Paris-Tours, may be the final race with Omega Pharma-Quickstep for Sylvain Chavanel, but the 34-year-old is still motivated to get one last victory out of the season.
"It is my last race with the team and I would like to close my experience with this great team with a good performance," Chavanel said. "We had great years together and that is why I would like to leave with a great race. This week I trained well, even on the parcours of the race, so I am pretty confident in being a protagonist and being there in the final on Sunday."
Chavanel has spent five years with the Belgian squad, but will be moving to the Swiss project IAM Cycling for the coming season. He signed with Quickstep after a successful 2008 season with Cofidis that included his first Tour de France stage win and a stint in the leader's jersey at the Vuelta a Espana.
In his years with Omega Pharma-Quickstep, he accumulated two more Tour stage wins and spent time in the maillot jaune as well as leading the Vuelta again in 2011. Additionally, he was part of the team's world championship TTT squad for both 2012 and 2013.
Although he's won two semi-classics, Brabantse Pijl and the Dwars door Vlaanderen in 2008, Chavanel has never had luck with this French finale to the one-day calendar, although he has shown his flair for riding off the front of the race in the past.
“I've never had a lot of luck in this race," Chavanel said."But to me this race is important because in 2000 it was the race that gave me visibility when I was young. I took a solo breakaway for 220km alone, with 33 minutes of a maximum gap, and I was caught 15km from the finish. The big cycling public discovered me that day, so it remains an important race for me. Last year I went into the breakaway and did a good race, but was not present in the final. This year I would like to be there in a key moment of the race."
Omega Pharma-Quickstep will also field Niki Terpstra as a co-leader, and Andrew Fenn, Frantisek Rabon, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Iljo Keisse, Pierre Serry and Martin Velits for the race.