Van Avermaet victorious in Paris-Tours

Belgian outsprints Marcato from breakaway, sprinters lose out

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) outsprinted breakaway companion Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) to win Paris-Tours on Sunday. Kasper Klostergaard of Saxo Bank-Sungard took third, as the expected mass sprint didn't materialise.

"I'm really good at sprinting after a long hard race and so is he ...but in the end I was stronger," Van Avermaet said. "I was happy he was working very well in the end. We decided to go full out to the finish and then see who was the fastest in the sprint.

"The team did a really good job and we tried to make the whole race really hard and control the race the whole day."

188 riders set out into the wind and rain on the day, with less than half of them making it to the end.

A group of seven riders five riders got away early and built up a lead of just over 11 minutes. However, the lead of Will Clarke (Leopard Trek), David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet), Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1), Andreas Klier (Garmin Cervelo), Rony Martias (Saur Sojasun) and Jurgen Van Goolen (Veranda's Willems – Accent) came down under pressure from behind.

The sprinters' teams gave furious chase, with Rabobank for defending champion Oscar Freire and HTC-Highroad riding for World champion Mark Cavendish leading the way.However, none of the sprinters' teams was able to organise things enough to bring their speedy men up to the very front.

With about 70 km to go, the gap had shrunk enough that an additional 15 riders, including Van Avermaet, was able to bridge up to the group. The larger group's lead never reached the two minute mark, but it was enough.

Arnaud Gerard (FDJ) was the first to attack out of the breakaway, at about the 17km marker. Van Avermaet and Marcato gave chase, easily catching and dropping the Frenchman. Sylvain Chavanel and Philippe Gilbert tried desperately to bridge up from the peloton, but couldn't get away.

The two leaders took enough of a lead into the final kilometer to not worry about their chasers. Van Avermaet hung on to Marcato's rear wheel before taking off at the 300 meter mark to win.

Full Results

1Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team5:21:43 
2Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:02 
3Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:00:15 
4Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
5Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis  
6Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ0:00:22 
7Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Team RadioShack  
8Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek  
9Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
10Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ0:00:26 
11John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:00:48 
12Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
13David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
14Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
15Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar  
16Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISD  
17Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
18Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis0:00:53 
19Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team RadioShack0:01:23 
20Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team  
21Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
22Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
23Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team  
24Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
25Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling  
26Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
27Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
28Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
29Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
30Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
31Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard  
32Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
33Jetse Bol (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
34Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
35Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team  
36Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
37Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar  
38Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
39Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
40Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
41Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ  
42Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad  
43Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ  
44Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad  
45Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
46Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
47Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ  
48Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
49Zakkari Dempster (Aus) HTC-Highroad  
50Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling  
51Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
52Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
53Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
54Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
55Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:31 
56Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:34 
57Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:01:36 
58Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
59Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
60Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
61Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
62Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team  
63Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
64Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
65Bert Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
66Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:01:40 
67Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:46 
68Steven Caethoven (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:02:14 
69Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
70Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
71Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:02:30 
72Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
73Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
74Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93)  
75Martin Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad  
76Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:02:47 
77Jürgen Van Goolen (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
78Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar0:03:17 
79Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:04:22 
80André Steensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:07:25 
81Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team  
82Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team RadioShack  
83Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad  
84Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
85Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:13:56 
86William Clarke (Aus) Leopard Trek  
87Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:15:11 
88Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
89Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  

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