Gilbert repeats Paris-Tours win ahead of Boonen

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
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto5:12:23 
2Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step  
3Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:00:02 
4Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha0:00:16 
5Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank  
6Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.  
7Gerben Löwik (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
8Pablo Lastras (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
9Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team  
10Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française Des Jeux  
11Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano  
12Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
13Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
14Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto  
15Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha  
16William Bonnet (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
17Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha0:00:24 
18Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank  
19Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.  
20Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:28 
21Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux0:00:30 
22Alexandre Usov (Blr) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:01:00 
23Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne  
24Jimmy Casper (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
25Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank  
26Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel  
27Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank  
28Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
29Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
30Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team Saxo Bank  
31Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil-Shimano  
32Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.  
33Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
34Javier Aramendia (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
35Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team  
36Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step  
37Tony Gallopin (Fra) Auber 93  
38Alexandre Pichot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
39Florian Vachon (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
40Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano  
41Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.  
42Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
43Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervelo Test Team  
44Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia - Highroad  
45Mathieu Claude (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
46Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Slipstream  
47Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano  
48Simone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.  
49Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil-Shimano  
50Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream  
51Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
52Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
53Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank  
54Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team Saxo Bank  
55Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
56Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne  
57Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 93  
58Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
59Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:01:09 
60Nadir Haddou (Fra) Auber 930:01:14 
61Florian Guillou (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
62Markel Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
63Florent Brard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
64Michael Mørkøv (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
65Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank  
66Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
67Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step  
68Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
69Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
70Ivan Velasco (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:01:31 
71David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago0:02:05 
72Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step  
73Jérémie Galland (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun0:02:17 
74Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram0:02:57 
75Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Silence-Lotto0:02:59 
76Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
77Christophe Brandt (Bel) Silence-Lotto  
78Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
79Florian Stalder (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
80Artur Gajek (Ger) Team Milram  
81Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram  
82Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale  
83Rene Mandri (Est) AG2R La Mondiale  
84Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - N.G.C.  
85Steve Bovay (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
86Denis Flahaut (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
87Aitor Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
88Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano  
89Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale  
90Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Team Katusha  
91Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step  
92Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
93Rony Martias (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
94Freddy Bichot (Fra) Agritubel  
95Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Team Katusha  
96Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93  
97Julien Mazet (Fra) Auber 93  
98Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
99Michael Barry (Can) Team Columbia - HTC  
100Vicente Reynes (Spa) Team Columbia - Highroad  
101Gert Dockx (Bel) Team Columbia - Highroad  
102Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank  
103Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
104Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano  
105Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
106Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
107Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Auber 93  
108Cedric Coutouly (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
109Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
110Timothy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Slipstream  
111Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
112Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
113Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervelo Test Team  
114Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:03:04 
115José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
116Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:03:28 
117Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago0:03:34 
118Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank0:04:18 
119Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank  
120Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun0:05:01 
121Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
122Mickael Larpe (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
123Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel  
124Laurent Mangel (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
125Lasse Bochmann (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
126Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervelo Test Team  
127Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
128Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
129Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
130Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago  
131Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto0:06:00 
132Cédric Pineau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:25 
133Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:06:26 
134Xabier Zandio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:07:04 
135Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
136Martin Velits (Svk) Team Milram  
137Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
138Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha  
139Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
140Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano  
141Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step  
142Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step  
143David Lelay (Fra) Agritubel  
144Kilian Patour (Fra) Garmin - Slipstream  
145Guillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
146Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence-Lotto  
147Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
148Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun  
149Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
150Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
151Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Team Katusha  
152Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:07:08 
153Jonathan Thire (Fra) Auber 93  
154Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step0:07:10 
155Damien Gaudin (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom0:08:00 

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