Gaviria headlines Paris-Tours start list

QuickStep-Floors will start next month's Paris-Tours with defending champion Fernando Gaviria and 2015 winner Matteo Trentin. Race organisers ASO have released the preliminary start list for the October 8 classic that will finish on the Avenue de Grammont.

Gaviria, who won the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen earlier in the month and was eighth at Worlds, won the race last year with a late attack ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ). Along with Trentin, QuickStep-Floors will also field Zdenek Stybar and start the race with a formidable squad.

Mark Cavendish will line out at the race with his Dimension Data squad as he continues to build form following his Tour de France crash. Paris-Tours will be Cavendish's second race on French soil after the Tour having placed sixth at Grand Prix d'Isbergues - Pas de Calais in September. Bernie Eisel has also been named in the Dimension Data squad.

The sprint field features further depth with the addition of André Greipel of Lotto Soudal. The Belgian team will also have Jens Debusschere, third in 2014, and will be a team to watch in the finale.

Lotto-NL Jumbo with Dylan Groenewegen, Team Sunweb with Nikas Arndt. Jempy Drucker (BMC), Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin) are also WorldTour sprinters expected to shine in the finale

From the Pro-Continental ranks, Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis and Adam Blythe of Aqua Blue Sport are two riders capable of challenging for the win on their given day. Thomas Boudat of Direct Energie and Briton Dan McLay (Fortuneo - Oscaro) add further depth to the start list.

Following his U23 Worlds win last week, Benoit Cosnefroy will line out for his Ag2R-La Mondiale team that is also fielding Belgian champion Oliver Naesen and breakaway specialist Alexis Gougeard.

In total, there will be nine WorldTour teams, ten from the Pro-Continental ranks, and three Continental teams.

Teams and select riders for the 2017 Paris-Tours

AG2R La Mondiale: Alexis Gougeard, Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra), Oliver Naesen (Bel)
BMC Racing Team: Stefan Küng, Jempy Drucker (Lux)
FDJ: MarcSarreau (Fra), Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita), Ignatas Konovalovas (Lit)
Lotto-Soudal: André Greipel (Ger), Jens Debusschere, Nikolas Maes (Bel)
Quick Step Floors: Fernando Gaviria (Col), Matteo Trentin (Ita), Zdenek Stybar (Cz)
Team Dimension Data: Mark Cavendish (GB), Bernie Eisel (Aut)
Team Katusha Alpecin: Rick Zabel (Ger), Michael Morkov (Den)
Team Lotto-NL Jumbo: Dylan Groenewegen (NL), Maarten Wynants (Bel)
Team Sunweb: Nikolas Arndt (Ger), Ramon Sinkeldam (NL), Soren Kragh Andersen (Den)
Aqua Blue Sport: Adam Blythe (GB), Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Nacer Bouhanni, Christopher Laporte, Geoffrey Soupe (Fra)
Delko Marseille Provence KTM: Yannick Martinez (Fra), Gatis Smukulis (Lit)
Direct Energie: Sylvan Chavanel, Thomas Boudat, Adrien Petit (Fra)
Fortuneo - Oscaro: Armindo Fonseca (Fra), Daniel McLay (GB)
Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij: Pim Ligthart (NL)
Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise: Preben Van Hecke (Bel)
Wanty - Groupe Gobert:Yoann Offredo (Fra), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel)
WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect: Kevin Ista (Bel), Lukas Spengler (Swi)
Veranda's Willems-Crelan: Stijn Devolder (Bel)
Armée de Terre: Damien Gaudin, Thomas Rostollan (Fra)
HP BTP - Auber 93: Romain Feillu (Fra)
Roubaix Lille Métropole: Julien Antomarchi (Fra) 

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