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Gilbert repeats Paris-Tours win ahead of Boonen

By:
Gregor Brown

Belgian attacks from escape trio in final metres to claim victory

Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) won his second consecutive Paris-Tours on a beautiful autumn day in France on Sunday. The Belgian took sweet revenge on his compatriot Tom Boonen, who pipped him for the Belgian championship title earlier this year, by hitting out early with 300m to go from a lead group of three.

Boonen (Quick Step) held on for a frustrating second place ahead of Slovenia's Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil). Katusha's Filippo Pozzato led the main chasing group home for fourth.

"I saved myself just until the end," said Gilbert. "When I attacked, I picked my spot perfectly, it was a planned spot."

"When I am in a position like that, I am confident and so I was not afraid of Tom Boonen."

The three formed their winning move with the help of Gilbert's teammate Greg Van Avermaet (Silence-Lotto), who attacked with 7 kilometres to race, just ahead of the Côte de l'Epan. The move drew out Boonen, allowing Gilbert to chase up to his teammate with Bozic.

His leader safely ensconsed in the winning break, Van Avermaet dropped back to the chasing bunch. Ahead, Gilbert expertly bided his time over the final two climbs, doing just enough work to fend off the chase of the Italian champion Pozzato, but keeping enough in reserve for the sprint.

His explosive effort with 300m to go caught Boonen off-guard, and Gilbert cruised to the victory with a bike length to spare.

The fall sprinters' classic ran from Chartres, southwest of Paris, to Tours, over 230 kilometres. It included three small climbs (côtes) in the final 10 kilometres: Côte de l'Epan, Côte du Pont Volant and Côte du Petit Pas d'Ane.

An escape group formed after 25 kilometres containing Martin Elmiger, Cédric Pineau (AG2R La Mondiale), Mathieu Ladagnous (Française des Jeux), Damien Gaudin (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Jean-Luc Delpech (Bretagne-Schuller), Jonathan Thiré (Auber 93), Mathew Hayman(Rabobank), Aart Vierhouten (Vacansoleil), Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Katusha).

The 10-man group had 7'15" over the main group with 132 kilometres to race.

Belgian teams Silence-Lotto and Quick Step brought the escape's advantage down to 52 seconds by 30 kilometres to race. Only Veelers remained, with 17 seconds, at the start of the final 10 kilometres.

The aggression of Van Avermaet spelled the end of Veelers' time up front, and the Skil-Shimano man had nothing left to give as the leading trio blasted by.

The chasing peloton was disrupted by a crash involving Rabobank's Mathew Hayman. German sprinter and favourite André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) pulled out near the halfway point because he was suffering from flu-like symptoms.

Gilbert won the race last year in a similar manner ahead of Belgian Jan Kuyckx and Frenchman Sébastien Turgot.

Full Results
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto 5:12:23  
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step    
3 Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:00:02  
4 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha 0:00:16  
5 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank    
6 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.    
7 Gerben Löwik (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
8 Pablo Lastras (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
9 Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team    
10 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française Des Jeux    
11 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano    
12 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
13 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
14 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto    
15 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha    
16 William Bonnet (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
17 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha 0:00:24  
18 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank    
19 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.    
20 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:00:28  
21 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux 0:00:30  
22 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:01:00  
23 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne    
24 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun    
25 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank    
26 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel    
27 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank    
28 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
29 Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
30 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team Saxo Bank    
31 Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil-Shimano    
32 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.    
33 Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
34 Javier Aramendia (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
35 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team    
36 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step    
37 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Auber 93    
38 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
39 Florian Vachon (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
40 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano    
41 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.    
42 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
43 Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervelo Test Team    
44 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia - Highroad    
45 Mathieu Claude (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
46 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Slipstream    
47 Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano    
48 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.    
49 Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil-Shimano    
50 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream    
51 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
52 Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
53 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank    
54 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team Saxo Bank    
55 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
56 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne    
57 Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 93    
58 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
59 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:01:09  
60 Nadir Haddou (Fra) Auber 93 0:01:14  
61 Florian Guillou (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
62 Markel Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
63 Florent Brard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
64 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
65 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank    
66 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
67 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step    
68 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
69 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
70 Ivan Velasco (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:01:31  
71 David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago 0:02:05  
72 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step    
73 Jérémie Galland (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun 0:02:17  
74 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram 0:02:57  
75 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Silence-Lotto 0:02:59  
76 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
77 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Silence-Lotto    
78 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
79 Florian Stalder (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
80 Artur Gajek (Ger) Team Milram    
81 Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram    
82 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale    
83 Rene Mandri (Est) AG2R La Mondiale    
84 Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - N.G.C.    
85 Steve Bovay (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
86 Denis Flahaut (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago    
87 Aitor Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
88 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano    
89 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale    
90 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Team Katusha    
91 Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step    
92 Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
93 Rony Martias (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
94 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Agritubel    
95 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Team Katusha    
96 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93    
97 Julien Mazet (Fra) Auber 93    
98 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
99 Michael Barry (Can) Team Columbia - HTC    
100 Vicente Reynes (Spa) Team Columbia - Highroad    
101 Gert Dockx (Bel) Team Columbia - Highroad    
102 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank    
103 Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
104 Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano    
105 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
106 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
107 Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Auber 93    
108 Cedric Coutouly (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun    
109 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun    
110 Timothy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Slipstream    
111 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
112 Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
113 Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervelo Test Team    
114 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:03:04  
115 José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
116 Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller 0:03:28  
117 Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago 0:03:34  
118 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank 0:04:18  
119 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank    
120 Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun 0:05:01  
121 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
122 Mickael Larpe (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
123 Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel    
124 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun    
125 Lasse Bochmann (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
126 Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervelo Test Team    
127 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
128 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago    
129 Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago    
130 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago    
131 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto 0:06:00  
132 Cédric Pineau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:25  
133 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:06:26  
134 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:07:04  
135 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
136 Martin Velits (Svk) Team Milram    
137 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
138 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha    
139 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
140 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano    
141 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step    
142 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step    
143 David Lelay (Fra) Agritubel    
144 Kilian Patour (Fra) Garmin - Slipstream    
145 Guillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
146 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence-Lotto    
147 Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
148 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun    
149 Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
150 Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
151 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Team Katusha    
152 Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:07:08  
153 Jonathan Thire (Fra) Auber 93    
154 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step 0:07:10  
155 Damien Gaudin (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:08:00