Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) and Jérémy Roy (Groupama-FDJ) raced their final road races at Paris-Tours on Saturday, bringing an end to Roy's 16-year professional career and leaving Chavanel with only Chrono des Nations on October 14 as his final day of racing before closing out 19 years in the pro peloton.
In characteristic style, Chavanel went on the attack during the 214.5km 1.HC race from Chartres to Tours, joining a six-man group that gained six minutes on the bunch and eventually swelled to nine before relentless attacking and chasing behind brought Chavanel's final adventure off the front to an end. The 39-year-old Frenchman eventually finished 45th. Roy was 58th.
Chavanel's attacking style brought him 45 professional wins over his career, starting with a stage of the Circuit Franco-Belge in 2000 and finishing with a stage at the Four Days of Dunkirk last year. In between, the Frenchman won three stages at the Tour de France in a record 18 starts, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Brabantse Pijl, the Bretagne Classic, the Tour of Belgium, the national road race championships and six French individual time trial championships.
Chavanel started his career with French team Bonjour in 2000, then spent turns with Brioches La Boulangère, Cofidis, Quick-Step, IAM Cycling and the last three years with Direct Energie.
Roy rode all 16 professional seasons with FDJ formulations, starting in 2003 as Fdjeux.com. The 35-year-old Frenchman took four professional wins, including a stage of Paris-Nice in 2009, Tro-bro Léon in 2010, the Grand Prix D'ouverture La Marseillaise in 2011 and a stage of the Tour du Limousin in 2012. He came close to a Grand Tour stage win in 2008 when he was second to Chavanel on stage 19 of the Tour de France. He competed in the Tour de France nine times, and three times each for both the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana.
"I am proud to belong to the category of the 'One-team men' since team FDJ accompanied me throughout my whole career," the 35-year-old Frenchman said when he announced in February that this would be his final season.
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