Van Avermaet victorious in Paris-Tours

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

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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 ProcyclingRow 3 - Cell 2
5Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi AventisRow 4 - Cell 2
6Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ0:00:22
7Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Team RadioShackRow 6 - Cell 2
8Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard TrekRow 7 - Cell 2
9Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 8 - Cell 2
10Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ0:00:26
11John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:00:48
12Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 11 - Cell 2
13David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 12 - Cell 2
14Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 14 - Cell 2
16Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISDRow 15 - Cell 2
17Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 16 - Cell 2
18Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis0:00:53
19Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team RadioShack0:01:23
20Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 20 - Cell 2
22Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 21 - Cell 2
23Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 23 - Cell 2
25Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky ProcyclingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - SchullerRow 25 - Cell 2
27Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 26 - Cell 2
28Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 27 - Cell 2
29Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 28 - Cell 2
30Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 30 - Cell 2
32Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 31 - Cell 2
33Jetse Bol (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 35 - Cell 2
37Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team EuropcarRow 36 - Cell 2
38Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 37 - Cell 2
39Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - ShimanoRow 38 - Cell 2
40Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 39 - Cell 2
41Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJRow 40 - Cell 2
42Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-HighroadRow 41 - Cell 2
43Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJRow 42 - Cell 2
44Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-HighroadRow 43 - Cell 2
45Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 44 - Cell 2
46Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 45 - Cell 2
47Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJRow 46 - Cell 2
48Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Zakkari Dempster (Aus) HTC-HighroadRow 48 - Cell 2
50Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 49 - Cell 2
51Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 50 - Cell 2
52Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 51 - Cell 2
53Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 52 - Cell 2
54Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJRow 60 - Cell 2
62Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 62 - Cell 2
64Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 63 - Cell 2
65Bert Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
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 LigneRow 68 - Cell 2
70Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 69 - Cell 2
71Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:02:30
72Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 71 - Cell 2
73Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93)Row 73 - Cell 2
75Martin Velits (Svk) HTC-HighroadRow 74 - Cell 2
76Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:02:47
77Jürgen Van Goolen (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 76 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 80 - Cell 2
82Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team RadioShackRow 81 - Cell 2
83Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-HighroadRow 82 - Cell 2
84Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:13:56
86William Clarke (Aus) Leopard TrekRow 85 - Cell 2
87Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:15:11
88Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 87 - Cell 2
89Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 88 - Cell 2

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