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Marcato wins Paris-Tours

By:
Jean-François Quénet

Late breakaway holds off the sprinters

Marco Marcato won his first classic at Paris-Tours but didn't dethrone Andreï Tchmil from the record books as the fastest winner ever. Back in 1997, the Moldavian turned Belgian set a record of 48.830km/h but the Italian from Vacansoleil-DCM came close with a score of 48.629. He resisted to a solo counter-attack by race favourite John Degenkolb and outsprinted Topsport Vlaanderen's Laurens de Vreese who accused him of misbehavior. Dutch champion Niki Terpstra of Omega Pharma-Quick Step was the third man of the winning breakaway.

The race started on a high speed with Sylvain Chavanel showing an aggressive spirit. One of the riders who accompanied him was young Australian talent Michael Hepburn from Orica-GreenEdge. "Before the race, our goal was to have someone in the breakaway," the world champion for individual pursuit told Cyclingnews. "It was a pretty big group. Being active and positive was a good way to conduct my last race as I didn't really get going on the road after the Olympics, but I'll come back stronger next year."

Karsten Kroon and Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Jérôme Pineau (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Gatis Smukulis (Katusha), Laszlo Bodrogi (TT1), Arnaud Gérard (FDJ-BigMat), Koen De Kort (Argos-Shimano) and Yannick Talabardon (Saur-Sojasun) were the other members of the breakaway. Their gap over the pack grow rapidly. They could enjoy a 4:50 advantage after a very fast first hour of racing (50.6 kilometres covered). Behind, the chase was being organised by teams AG2R-La Mondiale, Vacansoleil-DCM and Garmin-Sharp, failing to have riders in the breakaway and the gap started dropping. "We wouldn't let them have more than four minutes lead," said eventual winner Marcato who co-captained the Vacansoleil-DCM team.

The strongest rider of the breakaway was obviously Michael Mørkøv. He decided to take off on his own with under 40 kilometres to go while all his former breakaway companions were caught up by the chasing pack at km 201. "I tried a way to escape from the bunch as I've done all year," the Dane told Cyclingnews. "It was a good group but some guys were too afraid to pull. They were saving energy. As I felt being the strongest of the group, I went away but I knew it was impossible to make it by myself with 35 kilometres more to race."

A group of seven counter-attackers took over from Mørkøv: Marcato, Terpstra, Roy Curvers (Argos-Shimano), Julien Bérard (AG2R-La Mondiale), De Vreese, Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) and Laurent Pichon (Bretagne-Schuller) managed to pull away in the last hills of the course and caught up with the leader. A second decisive move occurred in the final 10kms when Marcato pulled away, taking with him De Vreese and Terpstra.

While a group of favourites including defending champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano), Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan) managed to take off from the pack in the last hill (Cote de l'Epan, km 7), it was looking good for the front three, enjoying a fifteen seconds advantage with five kilometres to go. "Unfortunately, in the absence of radios, I didn't much of information," Marcato explained. "But I saw on the blackboard that there was a group at fifteen seconds and the peloton at 35 seconds. Obviously, had guys like Degenkolb, [Nacer] Bouhanni and [Adam] Blythe come across, it would have meant the end of my hopes."

Degenkolb was close to closing the gap by himself. "I understood this group was going for the victory but there were still three guys at the front," the German told Cyclingnews. "I was following Van Avermaet but since I was the strongest in the group, I tried because I only had one team-mate left with me. But probably I wasn't strong enough. You always have to try. I'm not devastated. It's still a fourth place in a big classic. After the fourth place at the world championship, it's not a bad way to conclude my season."

De Vreese wasn't that happy with the outcome. He and his directeur sportif Hans De Clercq complained to the judges about Marcato's move in the sprint but they got no luck. "Hadn't Marcato done that, I would have won," the Belgian noted. "I was going to pass him and he forced me to stop pedaling. It was my first time in such a situation while he had the experience of having sprinted here one year ago." After losing to Van Avermaet, Marcato had learnt the lesson. "I haven't seen what De Vreese is talking about," Marcato said. "I was only looking at the finishing line. But the street was wide. There was space for everyone. From last year, I mostly learnt how to ride in the kilometers preceding the sprint. One year ago, I had in mind that it was still good to be second. This time around, it was all or nothing. With 3km to go, I became confident that I would win."

The 28 year old Italian from Padova will put an end to his 2012 season at the Tour de Vendée next week, a race he won last year.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team 4:50:34  
2 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
3 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
4 John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos - Shimano 0:00:06  
5 Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller 0:00:12  
6 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
7 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
8 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:00:19  
9 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team    
10 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
11 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar    
12 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Radioshack-Nissan    
13 Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos - Shimano    
14 Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
15 Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team 0:00:28  
16 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
17 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team    
18 Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos - Shimano    
19 Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp    
20 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
21 Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
22 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
23 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
24 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
25 Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) La Pomme Marseille    
26 Benjamin Verraes (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
27 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
28 Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
29 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team    
30 Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
31 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan    
32 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin-Sharp    
33 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team    
34 Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
35 Dimitri Le Boulch (Fra) Auber 93    
36 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar    
37 Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
38 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
39 Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
40 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
41 Jimmy Casper (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
42 Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos - Shimano    
43 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
44 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank    
45 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
46 Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
47 Florian Senechal (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
48 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
49 Julian Dean (NZl) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team    
50 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar    
51 Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
52 Tom Skujins (Lat) La Pomme Marseille    
53 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
54 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
55 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank    
56 David Lelay (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
57 Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
58 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
59 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
60 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha Team    
61 Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
62 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos - Shimano    
63 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
64 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
65 Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
66 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling    
67 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Argos - Shimano    
68 Grégory Rast (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan    
69 Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan 0:00:42  
70 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank    
71 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
72 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:47  
73 Baptiste Plackaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 0:01:11  
74 Christophe Laporte (Fra) La Pomme Marseille 0:01:22  
75 Grégoire Tarride (Fra) La Pomme Marseille    
76 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Auber 93    
77 Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:14  
78 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team    
79 Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team    
80 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
81 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
82 Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
83 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
84 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team    
85 Yohan Cauquil (Fra) La Pomme Marseille    
86 Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Team Europcar    
87 Romain Bacon (Fra) Auber 93    
88 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan    
89 Michael Morkov (Den) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank    
90 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
91 Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
92 Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille    
93 Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank    
94 Tim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
95 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
96 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
97 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
98 Adrian Saez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
99 Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet    
100 Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos - Shimano    
101 Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
102 Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:04:31  
103 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
104 Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
105 Robert Wagner (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan    
106 Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team    
107 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
108 Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Auber 93    
109 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
110 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:05:16  
111 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:06:08  
112 Matthew Busche (USA) Radioshack-Nissan    
113 Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) Auber 93    
114 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
115 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
116 Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team    
117 Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar 0:06:39  
118 Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
119 Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:06:40  
120 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
121 Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
122 Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 0:07:38  
123 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
124 Sébastien Bergeret (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
125 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
126 Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
127 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
128 Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
129 Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
130 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
131 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
132 Paul Poux (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
133 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
134 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
135 Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 93    
136 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar 0:07:46  
137 Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
138 Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar 0:07:59  
139 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling 0:10:07  
140 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:12:39  
141 Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos - Shimano    
142 Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team    
143 Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) La Pomme Marseille    
144 Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
145 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
146 Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
147 Brian Bulgac (Ned) Lotto Belisol Team    
OTL Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:20:44  
OTL Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team    
OTL Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank    
OTL Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank    
OTL Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Katusha Team    
OTL Alexander Serebryakov (Rus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
OTL Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale    
OTL Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp    
OTL Thomas Scully (NZl) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank    
DNF Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling    
DNF Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
DNF Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
DNF Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha Team    
DNF David Lozano Riba (Spa) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
DNF Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
DNF Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
DNF Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
DNF Biel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Frederique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
DNF Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
DNF Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
DNF Benoit Drujon (Fra) Auber 93    
DNF Steven Tronet (Fra) Auber 93    
DNF Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille    
DNS Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team