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Van Avermaet victorious in Paris-Tours

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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) takes the win in Paris-Tours

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) takes the win in Paris-Tours
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) out-paced Marco Marcato to win Paris-Tours

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) out-paced Marco Marcato to win Paris-Tours
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), winner of the 2011 Paris-Tours

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), winner of the 2011 Paris-Tours
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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The 2011 Paris-Tours podium: Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and

The 2011 Paris-Tours podium: Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Marcato congratulates Van Avermaet on the podium

Marcato congratulates Van Avermaet on the podium
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) wins Paris-Tours from a two-man escape.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) wins Paris-Tours from a two-man escape.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) outsprinted Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) to win Paris-Tours.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) outsprinted Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) to win Paris-Tours.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) on the attack.

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) on the attack.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Paris-Tours podium (l-r): Marco Marcato, Greg Van Avermaet, Kasper Klostergaard

Paris-Tours podium (l-r): Marco Marcato, Greg Van Avermaet, Kasper Klostergaard
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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World champion Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) didn't get the hoped for bunch sprint finale.

World champion Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) didn't get the hoped for bunch sprint finale.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Paris-Tours winner Greg Van Avermaet is congratulated by a teammate.

Paris-Tours winner Greg Van Avermaet is congratulated by a teammate.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) sets the pace in the peloton.

Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) sets the pace in the peloton.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) debuted his world champion's kit at Paris-Tours.

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) debuted his world champion's kit at Paris-Tours.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) launches the decisive late-race attack with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) close behind.

Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) launches the decisive late-race attack with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) close behind.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) celebrates his victory.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) celebrates his victory.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) on the attack.

Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) on the attack.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) in the winning move.

Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) in the winning move.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) bridge to Arnaud Gerard (FDJ).

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) bridge to Arnaud Gerard (FDJ).
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) outsprinted breakaway companion Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) to win Paris-Tours on Sunday. Kasper Klostergaard of Saxo Bank-Sungard took third, as the expected mass sprint didn't materialise.

"I'm really good at sprinting after a long hard race and so is he ...but in the end I was stronger," Van Avermaet said. "I was happy he was working very well in the end. We decided to go full out to the finish and then see who was the fastest in the sprint.

"The team did a really good job and we tried to make the whole race really hard and control the race the whole day."

188 riders set out into the wind and rain on the day, with less than half of them making it to the end.

A group of seven riders five riders got away early and built up a lead of just over 11 minutes. However, the lead of Will Clarke (Leopard Trek), David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet), Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1), Andreas Klier (Garmin Cervelo), Rony Martias (Saur Sojasun) and Jurgen Van Goolen (Veranda's Willems – Accent) came down under pressure from behind.

The sprinters' teams gave furious chase, with Rabobank for defending champion Oscar Freire and HTC-Highroad riding for World champion Mark Cavendish leading the way.However, none of the sprinters' teams was able to organise things enough to bring their speedy men up to the very front.

With about 70 km to go, the gap had shrunk enough that an additional 15 riders, including Van Avermaet, was able to bridge up to the group. The larger group's lead never reached the two minute mark, but it was enough.

Arnaud Gerard (FDJ) was the first to attack out of the breakaway, at about the 17km marker. Van Avermaet and Marcato gave chase, easily catching and dropping the Frenchman. Sylvain Chavanel and Philippe Gilbert tried desperately to bridge up from the peloton, but couldn't get away.

The two leaders took enough of a lead into the final kilometer to not worry about their chasers. Van Avermaet hung on to Marcato's rear wheel before taking off at the 300 meter mark to win.

Full Results

1Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team5:21:43
2Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:02
3Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:00:15
4Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
5Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis
6Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ0:00:22
7Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Team RadioShack
8Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek
9Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano
10Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ0:00:26
11John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:00:48
12Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling
13David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto
14Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
15Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar
16Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISD
17Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
18Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis0:00:53
19Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team RadioShack0:01:23
20Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team
21Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
22Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano
23Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
24Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
25Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling
26Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
27Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
28Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo
29Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
30Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
31Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard
32Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
33Jetse Bol (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
34Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
35Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team
36Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
37Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar
38Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
39Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano
40Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo
41Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ
42Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad
43Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ
44Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad
45Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling
46Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
47Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ
48Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
49Zakkari Dempster (Aus) HTC-Highroad
50Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling
51Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
52Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
53Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Procycling
54Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
55Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:31
56Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:34
57Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:01:36
58Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
59Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team
60Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
61Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
62Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team
63Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo
64Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
65Bert Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
66Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:01:40
67Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:46
68Steven Caethoven (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:02:14
69Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
70Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
71Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:02:30
72Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo
73Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
74Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93)
75Martin Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad
76Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:02:47
77Jürgen Van Goolen (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent
78Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar0:03:17
79Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:04:22
80André Steensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:07:25
81Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team
82Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team RadioShack
83Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad
84Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
85Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:13:56
86William Clarke (Aus) Leopard Trek
87Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:15:11
88Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
89Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi

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