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Gilbert repeats Paris-Tours win ahead of Boonen

Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) won his second consecutive Paris-Tours on a beautiful autumn day in France on Sunday. The Belgian took sweet revenge on his compatriot Tom Boonen, who pipped him for the Belgian championship title earlier this year, by hitting out early with 300m to go from a lead group of three.

Boonen (Quick Step) held on for a frustrating second place ahead of Slovenia's Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil). Katusha's Filippo Pozzato led the main chasing group home for fourth.

"I saved myself just until the end," said Gilbert. "When I attacked, I picked my spot perfectly, it was a planned spot."

"When I am in a position like that, I am confident and so I was not afraid of Tom Boonen."

The three formed their winning move with the help of Gilbert's teammate Greg Van Avermaet (Silence-Lotto), who attacked with 7 kilometres to race, just ahead of the Côte de l'Epan. The move drew out Boonen, allowing Gilbert to chase up to his teammate with Bozic.

His leader safely ensconsed in the winning break, Van Avermaet dropped back to the chasing bunch. Ahead, Gilbert expertly bided his time over the final two climbs, doing just enough work to fend off the chase of the Italian champion Pozzato, but keeping enough in reserve for the sprint.

His explosive effort with 300m to go caught Boonen off-guard, and Gilbert cruised to the victory with a bike length to spare.

The fall sprinters' classic ran from Chartres, southwest of Paris, to Tours, over 230 kilometres. It included three small climbs (côtes) in the final 10 kilometres: Côte de l'Epan, Côte du Pont Volant and Côte du Petit Pas d'Ane.

An escape group formed after 25 kilometres containing Martin Elmiger, Cédric Pineau (AG2R La Mondiale), Mathieu Ladagnous (Française des Jeux), Damien Gaudin (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Jean-Luc Delpech (Bretagne-Schuller), Jonathan Thiré (Auber 93), Mathew Hayman(Rabobank), Aart Vierhouten (Vacansoleil), Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Katusha).

The 10-man group had 7'15" over the main group with 132 kilometres to race.

Belgian teams Silence-Lotto and Quick Step brought the escape's advantage down to 52 seconds by 30 kilometres to race. Only Veelers remained, with 17 seconds, at the start of the final 10 kilometres.

The aggression of Van Avermaet spelled the end of Veelers' time up front, and the Skil-Shimano man had nothing left to give as the leading trio blasted by.

The chasing peloton was disrupted by a crash involving Rabobank's Mathew Hayman. German sprinter and favourite André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) pulled out near the halfway point because he was suffering from flu-like symptoms.

Gilbert won the race last year in a similar manner ahead of Belgian Jan Kuyckx and Frenchman Sébastien Turgot.

Full Results
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto5:12:23
2Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
3Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:00:02
4Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha0:00:16
5Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
6Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
7Gerben Löwik (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
8Pablo Lastras (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
9Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team
10Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française Des Jeux
11Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Skil-Shimano
12Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Française Des Jeux
13Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
14Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto
15Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha
16William Bonnet (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
17Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha0:00:24
18Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank
19Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
20Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:28
21Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux0:00:30
22Alexandre Usov (Blr) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:01:00
23Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
24Jimmy Casper (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
25Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank
26Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel
27Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank
28Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
29Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
30Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team Saxo Bank
31Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil-Shimano
32Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
33Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
34Javier Aramendia (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
35Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team
36Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step
37Tony Gallopin (Fra) Auber 93
38Alexandre Pichot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
39Florian Vachon (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
40Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano
41Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
42Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
43Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervelo Test Team
44Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia - Highroad
45Mathieu Claude (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
46Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
47Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano
48Simone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.
49Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil-Shimano
50Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream
51Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française Des Jeux
52Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
53Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank
54Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team Saxo Bank
55Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
56Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne
57Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 93
58Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
59Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:01:09
60Nadir Haddou (Fra) Auber 930:01:14
61Florian Guillou (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
62Markel Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
63Florent Brard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
64Michael Mørkøv (Den) Team Saxo Bank
65Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank
66Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
67Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step
68Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
69Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux
70Ivan Velasco (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:01:31
71David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago0:02:05
72Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step
73Jérémie Galland (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun0:02:17
74Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram0:02:57
75Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Silence-Lotto0:02:59
76Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
77Christophe Brandt (Bel) Silence-Lotto
78Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
79Florian Stalder (Swi) BMC Racing Team
80Artur Gajek (Ger) Team Milram
81Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram
82Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale
83Rene Mandri (Est) AG2R La Mondiale
84Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - N.G.C.
85Steve Bovay (Swi) BMC Racing Team
86Denis Flahaut (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
87Aitor Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
88Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano
89Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
90Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Team Katusha
91Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step
92Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
93Rony Martias (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
94Freddy Bichot (Fra) Agritubel
95Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Team Katusha
96Maxime Mederel (Fra) Auber 93
97Julien Mazet (Fra) Auber 93
98Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
99Michael Barry (Can) Team Columbia - HTC
100Vicente Reynes (Spa) Team Columbia - Highroad
101Gert Dockx (Bel) Team Columbia - Highroad
102Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank
103Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
104Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano
105Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux
106Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Saxo Bank
107Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Auber 93
108Cedric Coutouly (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
109Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
110Timothy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
111Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
112Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
113Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
114Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:03:04
115José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
116Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:03:28
117Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago0:03:34
118Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank0:04:18
119Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank
120Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun0:05:01
121Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom
122Mickael Larpe (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
123Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel
124Laurent Mangel (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
125Lasse Bochmann (Den) Team Saxo Bank
126Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervelo Test Team
127Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
128Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
129Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
130Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
131Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto0:06:00
132Cédric Pineau (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:25
133Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:06:26
134Xabier Zandio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:07:04
135Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
136Martin Velits (Svk) Team Milram
137Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
138Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha
139Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
140Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano
141Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step
142Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step
143David Lelay (Fra) Agritubel
144Kilian Patour (Fra) Garmin - Slipstream
145Guillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
146Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence-Lotto
147Yann Pivois (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
148Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun
149Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
150Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
151Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Team Katusha
152Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:07:08
153Jonathan Thire (Fra) Auber 93
154Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step0:07:10
155Damien Gaudin (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom0:08:00

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