Soren Kragh Andersen wins Paris-Tours

Terpstra second, Cosnefroy third as gravel tracks blow the race apart

Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) won a revamped edition of Paris-Tours, triumphing with a late attack from an elite group after the seven hills and nine gravel sectors that made up the new finale.

On the famous Avenue de Grammont, Niki Terpstra (Quick Step Floors) beat Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) in the sprint for second place 25 seconds later. The pair had been part of the elite trio that emerged in the final 30km.

After a fast start, it was a hectic race in the final 50km as the peloton split apart on the gravel roads and various groups went up the road. First Kragh Andersen, and then Terpstra went away with 30km to race, before Cosnefroy soloed across soon after.

Despite the best efforts of a strong chase group, containing Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) and Sep Vanmarcke (EF-Drapac) it became clear they would contest the podium positions, and then Kragh Andersen went for glory 10km out.

"I didn't really believe that this was possible," Kragh Andersen said after the finish. "I had some tough weeks after the Tour de France, but I was focused today and I really wanted it so i'm super happy with the outcome.

"It was really an awesome parcours - I really liked it. Some guys say it's dangerous but you also have to adapt. I loved it. I can almost not believe it but yeah it was the first classic win for me.

"I could only enjoy it when I was 100 metres from the line. It was a super hard last 10km but it was worth it."

How it unfolded

It was all change at Paris-Tours this year as one of the oldest races on the calendar received an overhaul. For the most part, the route remained fast and flat, heading south from Chartres towards Tours, but the finale was revamped.

Rather than the traditional Côtes de Crochu, Beau Soleil and l'Epan to test the sprinters and provide a springboard for late attacks, the final 60km twisted through vineyards, nine gravel path sectors and up seven hills. The traditional Avenue de Grammont finish would remain, but chances for sprinters at the 'Sprinter's Classic' were all but wiped out. 

In the early kilometres, a six-man breakaway got up the road. Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Énergie) was there in his final pro race. Joining the Frenchman were Bernhard Eisel (Dimension Data), Thibault Guernalec (Fortuneo-Samsic), Dries de Bondt (Veranda's Willems-Crelan), Brian Van Goethem (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) and Emiel Vermeulen (Roubaix Lille Métropole).

The six men had a six-minute advantage at one point, but after a fast first two hours, during which the average speed was 48.5km/h, the gap was under two minutes. As the peloton briefly split going through the feed zone, Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin), Tom Devriendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Johan Le Bon (Vital Concept) got away to join up with the breakaway, which was only a minute up the road.

By the time the nine-man break reached the first climb of the day, their advantage was back up to two minutes with 60km to race. Hitting the first gravel sector 10km later, the gap was down to 10 seconds.

With the pace high at the front, it was no surprise to see the peloton split into many different groups on the gravel. Up front, the Belgians De Bondt and Devriendt were the last men standing from the break but they were soon caught.

As punctures hit in the peloton, Kragh Andersen and Terpstra emerged as an elite lead duo, having briefly been up front in a six-man group a few kilometres earlier. Cosnefroy would soon make it a lead trio.

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Sep Vanmarcke (EF-Drapac) and Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) set off in pursuit heading into the final 20km, with the chasing trio some 30 seconds back down the road.

The chase group couldn't close that gap, however. Kragh Andersen made his move with 10km to go, with no reaction from his companions. The Dane quickly pulled out a 20-second gap, leaving Terpstra and Cosnefroy to fight over the remaining podium places on the run-in.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb4:37:55 
2Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick - Step Floors0:00:25 
3Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
4Oliver Naesen (Bel) Ag2R La Mondiale0:01:14 
5Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
6Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
7Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
8Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick - Step Floors  
9Taco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:01:24 
10Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo  
11Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
12Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:28 
13José Gonçalves (Por) Team Katusha Alpecin  
14Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama - Fdj0:01:55 
15Damien Touze (Fra) St Michel - Auber 93  
16Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:57 
17Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo0:02:12 
18Jhonnatan Narvaez (Ecu) Quick - Step Floors0:02:14 
19Silvan Dillier (Swi) Ag2R La Mondiale0:02:25 
20Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Vital Concept Cycling Club  
21Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
22Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
23Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo  
24Clement Venturini (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:02:26 
25Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
26Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
27André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:04:02 
28Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick - Step Floors  
29Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo  
30Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
31Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama - Fdj  
32Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy  
33Timo Roosen (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo  
34Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Dimension Data  
35Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie  
36Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
37Patrick Müller (Swi) Vital Concept Cycling Club  
38Paul Ourselin (Fra) Direct Energie  
39Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
40Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence Ktm  
41Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) St Michel - Auber 93  
42Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
43Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
44Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
45Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie  
46Alo Jakin (Est) St Michel - Auber 93  
47Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Dimension Data  
48Lars Bak Ytting (Den) Lotto Soudal0:07:19 
49Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
50Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie  
51Bert De Backer (Bel) Vital Concept Cycling Club  
52Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale0:07:21 
53Julien Vermote (Bel) Team Dimension Data0:08:52 
54Yoann Paillot (Fra) St Michel - Auber 93  
55Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:10:16 
56Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Crelan0:10:45 
57Jan Willem Van Schip (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:10:56 
58Jérémy Roy (Fra) Groupama - Fdj0:12:13 
59Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
60Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
61Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
62Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept Cycling Club  
63Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
64Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country - Murias  
65Luuc Bugter (Ned) Delta Cycling Rotterdam  
66Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
67Connor Swift (GBr) Madison Genesis  
68August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy  
69Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
70Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan  
71Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
72Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
73Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick - Step Floors  
74Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
75Senne Leysen (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan  
76Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb  
77Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie  
78Julius Van Den Berg (Ned) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
79Daniel Mclay (GBr) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
80Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo  
81Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
82Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick - Step Floors  
83Johan Le Bon (Fra) Vital Concept Cycling Club  
84Bram Welten (Ned) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
85Julien Duval (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
86Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
87Maximilian Richard Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb  
88Matti Breschel (Den) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
89Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:20:32 
90Tony Martin (Ger) Team Katusha Alpecin  
91Pierre Idjouadiene (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
92Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Team Katusha Alpecin  
93Omer Goldsteiin (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy  
94Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Lokosphinx  
95Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Team Dimension Data  
96Nicolas Dougall (RSA) Team Dimension Data  
97Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
98Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence Ktm  
99Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
100Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
101Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
102Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
103Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
104Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo  
DNFKrists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFPierre Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFCamille Thominet (Fra) St Michel - Auber 93  
DNFFlavien Maurelet (Fra) St Michel - Auber 93  
DNFRomain Feillu (Fra) St Michel - Auber 93  
DNFMikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country - Murias  
DNFAritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country - Murias  
DNFDennis Van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFSondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFJeremy Cabot (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFJulen Irizar Laskurain (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country - Murias  
DNFSteven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFSimon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb  
DNFMax Kanter (Ger) Development Team Sunweb  
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Sunweb  
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
DNFLoic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFDaniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFClement Russo (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFBenjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFAitor Gonzalez Prieto (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country - Murias  
DNFClément Carisey (Fra) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFGotzon Udondo Santamaria (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country - Murias  
DNFJulien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence Ktm  
DNFSergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country - Murias  
DNFYohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFDries Devenyns (Bel) Quick - Step Floors  
DNFStijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Ag2R La Mondiale  
DNFBruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFBernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Dimension Data  
DNFJenthe Biermans (Bel) Team Katusha Alpecin  
DNFAlex Dowsett (GBr) Team Katusha Alpecin  
DNFAlexis Guerin (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence Ktm  
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFElias Van Breussegem (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan  
DNFAmael Moinard (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFMartijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
DNFStijn Steels (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan  
DNFLogan Owen (USA) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
DNFElmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
DNFLorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Vital Concept Cycling Club  
DNFGatis Smukulis (Lat) Delko Marseille Provence Ktm  
DNFEvaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence Ktm  
DNFAlessandro Fedeli (Ita) Trevigiani Phonix - Hemus 1896  
DNFAmaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFPiet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFJérémy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept Cycling Club  
DNFStijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan  
DNSTom Wirtgen (Lux) Ago - Aqua Service  
DNSMaxime Vantomme (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNSLudwig De Winter (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNSKenny Dehaes (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNSKevyn Ista (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNSLudovic Robeet (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNSLukas Spengler (Swi) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  

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