Gaviria wins Paris-Tours with late attack

Colombian surprises the sprinters to beat Demare and Van Genechten

Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) won Paris-Tours with a surprise late attack in the final 500 metres that allowed him to hold off the big-name sprinters and take arguably the most prestigious victory of his young career without waiting for the sprint finish. His victory completed a perfect day for the Etixx-QuickStep team after their victory in the men's team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships.

"This is the most beautiful win of my career," he said. "I knew how important and big this race was; I know its history, and this motivated me to get the victory today. It was tough and fast today, but I was fresh in the finale, when I decided to take advantage of a corner which slowed down the peloton before the last straight."  

As the riders jostled for position inside the final kilometre on the famous Avenue de Grammont, Gaviria jumped to his right away from the bunch and surged down the barriers. He quickly got a gap and kept going with his arms on the hoods, as if he was trying to take a lap on the track in an Omnium event.

He nervously looked back but had a sufficient lead that allowed him to ease up before the line, kiss his bracelet in a kind of dedication and celebrate victory with his arms open.

"As soon as I attacked, I went full gas to the line and managed to hold the pack at bay," he said. "I am very happy and I want to thank the team for the support I got. It was my final race of the year in this kit and this makes the success very special. Also, to get news that the team won the team time trial world title gives me even more satisfaction."

The Lotto Soudal and Katusha teams failed to close the gap and the other sprinters came too late to catch the Colombian. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) finished second with Jonas Van Genechten (IAM Cycling) third. They were caught in the photographs of Gaviria celebrating but were stunned by the 22-year-old Colombian's late move.

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) was in the mix after using his sprint to move up in the final 300 metres but he then eased up before the line finishing sixth, one place ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).

252km covered at 47km/h

Race organiser ASO had managed to attract a star-studded field in the last race for the sprinters and world championship contenders. They increased the distance of the 2016 race to 252km and removed many of the hills in the final 20 kilometres to make it the perfect test of form before riders travelled to Doha for next Sunday's World Championships road race.

Gaviria, Cavendish, Tom Boonen, Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett, Elia Viviani and Arnaud Démare were all on the start and keen to test their form only a week out from the big final goal of the season.

The weather was warm with a slight tailwind from the start in the Loire valley, making for a fast race and a 47km/h average race speed.

Seven riders bravely formed the early break, with Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Arnaud Gérard (Fortuneo Vital Concept), Floris Gerts (BMC), Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling), Kevin Lebreton (Armée de Terre), Brian Van Goethem (Roompot-Orange) and Maarten Wynants (LottoNL-Jumbo) going deep one last time this season.

They opened a gap but the sprinter's team kept them pegged at three minutes indicating their intentions. They were eventually reeled in with 15km to race.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was part of several late attacks as he tested his form after a long day in the saddle. But with a flatter finale, the sprinters were always going to dominate affairs and they did. Another attack by Sergey Lagutin (Katusha) and Bert De Backer (Giant-Alpecin) was caught with seven kilometres to go, as the Cofidis team for Bouhanni, FDJ for Démare and Team Sky for Viviani kept the pace high and marshalled the peloton.

After some late corners and the red kite, Team Sky hit out early, with debutant Owain Doull leading Viviani. However it was far too early for the Italian to open his sprint and so he sat up and the pack reshuffled. Just after, as the pace dipped, Gaviria took his chance, seemingly based on instinct rather than tactics.

Lesser riders would have quickly been swept up, but Gaviria has a track rider's acceleration and a sprinter's speed, allowing him to hold off the chasers.

He will lead the Colombian team next Sunday and has suddenly become a dangerous rival for the bigger nations and their team leaders.

"In Doha it's going to be a completely different story, and the race will be made even more difficult by the heat, but I'm going there confident, relaxed and in good condition," Gaviria said. "So we'll see what will happen."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step5:22:03 
2Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ  
3Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling  
4Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step  
5Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie  
6Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data  
7Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
8Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
9Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-BikeExchange  
10Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team  
11Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin  
12Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
13Rudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille  
14Romain Feillu (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93  
15Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18  
16Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data  
17Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
18Fabian Lienhard (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
19Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha  
20Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha  
21Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
22Leonardo Fabio Duque (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
23Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky  
24Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
25Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling  
26Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
27Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
28Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
29Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
30Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
31Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
32Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
33Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-BikeExchange  
34Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
35Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
36Etienne Van Empel (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
37Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha  
38Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Etixx - Quick-Step  
39Floris Gerfs (Ned) BMC Racing Team  
40Alo Jakin (Est) HP-BTP Auber 93  
41Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
42Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
43Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data  
44Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team Sky  
45Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-BikeExchange  
46Silvio Herklotz (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
47Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille  
48Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ  
49Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team  
50Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  
51Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data  
52Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
53Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ  
54Alexis Bodiot (Fra) Armee de Terre  
55Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Armee de Terre  
56Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
57Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
58Anthony Maldonado (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93  
59Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling  
60Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
61Pierre Gouault (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93  
62Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
63Etienne Fabre (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
64Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
65Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
66Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step  
67Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
68Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie  
69Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
70Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Den) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
71Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step  
72Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie  
73Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
74Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
75Florent Pereira (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille  
76Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93  
77Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
78Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling  
79Simon Pellaud (Swi) IAM Cycling  
80Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling  
81Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
82Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ  
83Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie  
84Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
85Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
86Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha  
87Felix Pouilly (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille  
88Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie  
89Robert Power (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange  
90Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
91Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
92Jeremy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille0:00:20 
93Yann Guyot (Fra) Armee de Terre  
94Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton0:00:22 
95Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
96Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
97Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
98Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
99Martin Laas (Est) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
100Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
101Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin  
102Julien Duval (Fra) Armee de Terre  
103Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
104Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
105Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
106Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
107William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ  
108Matt Brammeier (Irl) Dimension Data  
109Flavien Dassonville (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93  
110Jimmy Raibaud (Fra) Armee de Terre  
111François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
112Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:27 
113Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
114Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky0:00:33 
115Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
116Aimé Degendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:38 
117Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky0:00:44 
118Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:00:50 
119Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
120Maxime Renault (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 930:00:54 
121Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:00:56 
122Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille  
123Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
124Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
125Thierry Hupond (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
126Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
127Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale  
128Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange  
129Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
130Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data  
131Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange  
132Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data  
133Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
134Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ  
135Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
136Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
137Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
138Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
139Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
140Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky  
141Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
142Romain Guillemois (Fra) Direct Energie  
143Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie  
144Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ  
145Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
146Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Argon 18  
147Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:03 
148Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
149Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 180:01:38 
150Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal0:01:43 
151Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
152Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
153Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
154Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
155Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
156Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
157Vegard Breen (Nor) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:01:47 
158Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:50 
159Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
160Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:54 
161Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:02:27 
162Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data  
163Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
164Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange0:02:38 
165Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:02:45 
166Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky0:02:49 
167Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 180:03:00 
168Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling  
169Jens Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:04:37 
170Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:05:30 
171Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin0:05:44 
172Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling0:07:17 
173Thomas Rostollan (Fra) Armee de Terre0:09:24 
174Kevin Lebreton (Fra) Armee de Terre  
175Nicolas Moncomble (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille  
176Alexander Maes (Bel) Team Katusha  
177Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 180:09:27 
178Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange0:10:03 
DNFGianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
DNFValerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFLieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team  
DNFSébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMaxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFVladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFDmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFShane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFMaurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
DNFThibault Ferasse (Fra) Armee de Terre  

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