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Gaviria wins Paris-Tours with late attack

Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) won Paris-Tours with a surprise late attack in the final 500 metres that allowed him to hold off the big-name sprinters and take arguably the most prestigious victory of his young career without waiting for the sprint finish. His victory completed a perfect day for the Etixx-QuickStep team after their victory in the men's team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships.

"This is the most beautiful win of my career," he said. "I knew how important and big this race was; I know its history, and this motivated me to get the victory today. It was tough and fast today, but I was fresh in the finale, when I decided to take advantage of a corner which slowed down the peloton before the last straight."  

As the riders jostled for position inside the final kilometre on the famous Avenue de Grammont, Gaviria jumped to his right away from the bunch and surged down the barriers. He quickly got a gap and kept going with his arms on the hoods, as if he was trying to take a lap on the track in an Omnium event.

He nervously looked back but had a sufficient lead that allowed him to ease up before the line, kiss his bracelet in a kind of dedication and celebrate victory with his arms open.

"As soon as I attacked, I went full gas to the line and managed to hold the pack at bay," he said. "I am very happy and I want to thank the team for the support I got. It was my final race of the year in this kit and this makes the success very special. Also, to get news that the team won the team time trial world title gives me even more satisfaction."

The Lotto Soudal and Katusha teams failed to close the gap and the other sprinters came too late to catch the Colombian. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) finished second with Jonas Van Genechten (IAM Cycling) third. They were caught in the photographs of Gaviria celebrating but were stunned by the 22-year-old Colombian's late move.

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) was in the mix after using his sprint to move up in the final 300 metres but he then eased up before the line finishing sixth, one place ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).

252km covered at 47km/h

Race organiser ASO had managed to attract a star-studded field in the last race for the sprinters and world championship contenders. They increased the distance of the 2016 race to 252km and removed many of the hills in the final 20 kilometres to make it the perfect test of form before riders travelled to Doha for next Sunday's World Championships road race.

Gaviria, Cavendish, Tom Boonen, Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett, Elia Viviani and Arnaud Démare were all on the start and keen to test their form only a week out from the big final goal of the season.

The weather was warm with a slight tailwind from the start in the Loire valley, making for a fast race and a 47km/h average race speed.

Seven riders bravely formed the early break, with Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Arnaud Gérard (Fortuneo Vital Concept), Floris Gerts (BMC), Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling), Kevin Lebreton (Armée de Terre), Brian Van Goethem (Roompot-Orange) and Maarten Wynants (LottoNL-Jumbo) going deep one last time this season.

They opened a gap but the sprinter's team kept them pegged at three minutes indicating their intentions. They were eventually reeled in with 15km to race.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was part of several late attacks as he tested his form after a long day in the saddle. But with a flatter finale, the sprinters were always going to dominate affairs and they did. Another attack by Sergey Lagutin (Katusha) and Bert De Backer (Giant-Alpecin) was caught with seven kilometres to go, as the Cofidis team for Bouhanni, FDJ for Démare and Team Sky for Viviani kept the pace high and marshalled the peloton.

After some late corners and the red kite, Team Sky hit out early, with debutant Owain Doull leading Viviani. However it was far too early for the Italian to open his sprint and so he sat up and the pack reshuffled. Just after, as the pace dipped, Gaviria took his chance, seemingly based on instinct rather than tactics.

Lesser riders would have quickly been swept up, but Gaviria has a track rider's acceleration and a sprinter's speed, allowing him to hold off the chasers.

He will lead the Colombian team next Sunday and has suddenly become a dangerous rival for the bigger nations and their team leaders.

"In Doha it's going to be a completely different story, and the race will be made even more difficult by the heat, but I'm going there confident, relaxed and in good condition," Gaviria said. "So we'll see what will happen."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step5:22:03
2Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
4Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
5Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
6Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data
7Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-BikeExchange
10Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
11Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
12Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
13Rudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
14Romain Feillu (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
15Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
16Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
17Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
18Fabian Lienhard (Swi) BMC Racing Team
19Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha
20Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha
21Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
22Leonardo Fabio Duque (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
23Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
24Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
25Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling
26Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
27Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
28Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
29Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
30Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
31Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
32Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
33Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-BikeExchange
34Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
35Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
36Etienne Van Empel (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
37Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha
38Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Etixx - Quick-Step
39Floris Gerfs (Ned) BMC Racing Team
40Alo Jakin (Est) HP-BTP Auber 93
41Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
42Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
43Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data
44Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team Sky
45Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-BikeExchange
46Silvio Herklotz (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
47Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
48Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ
49Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team
50Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
51Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
52Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
53Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ
54Alexis Bodiot (Fra) Armee de Terre
55Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Armee de Terre
56Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
57Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
58Anthony Maldonado (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
59Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling
60Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
61Pierre Gouault (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
62Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
63Etienne Fabre (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
64Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
65Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
66Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
67Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
68Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie
69Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
70Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Den) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
71Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
72Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie
73Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
74Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
75Florent Pereira (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
76Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
77Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
78Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
79Simon Pellaud (Swi) IAM Cycling
80Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling
81Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team
82Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ
83Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie
84Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
85Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
86Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha
87Felix Pouilly (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
88Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
89Robert Power (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
90Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
91Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
92Jeremy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille0:00:20
93Yann Guyot (Fra) Armee de Terre
94Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton0:00:22
95Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
96Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
97Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team
98Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
99Martin Laas (Est) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
100Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
101Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
102Julien Duval (Fra) Armee de Terre
103Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
104Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
105Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
106Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
107William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ
108Matt Brammeier (Irl) Dimension Data
109Flavien Dassonville (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
110Jimmy Raibaud (Fra) Armee de Terre
111François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
112Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:27
113Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
114Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky0:00:33
115Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
116Aimé Degendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:38
117Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky0:00:44
118Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:00:50
119Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
120Maxime Renault (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 930:00:54
121Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:00:56
122Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
123Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
124Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
125Thierry Hupond (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
126Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
127Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
128Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange
129Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
130Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
131Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
132Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
133Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
134Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ
135Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
136Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
137Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
138Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
139Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
140Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
141Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
142Romain Guillemois (Fra) Direct Energie
143Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie
144Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ
145Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
146Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Argon 18
147Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:03
148Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
149Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 180:01:38
150Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal0:01:43
151Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal
152Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
153Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
154Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
155Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal
156Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
157Vegard Breen (Nor) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:01:47
158Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:50
159Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
160Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:54
161Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:02:27
162Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data
163Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
164Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange0:02:38
165Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:02:45
166Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky0:02:49
167Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 180:03:00
168Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling
169Jens Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:04:37
170Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:05:30
171Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin0:05:44
172Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling0:07:17
173Thomas Rostollan (Fra) Armee de Terre0:09:24
174Kevin Lebreton (Fra) Armee de Terre
175Nicolas Moncomble (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
176Alexander Maes (Bel) Team Katusha
177Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 180:09:27
178Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange0:10:03
DNFGianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFValerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFLieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team
DNFSébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFMaxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha
DNFVladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha
DNFDmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha
DNFShane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18
DNFMaurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
DNFThibault Ferasse (Fra) Armee de Terre

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Stephen Farrand
Stephen Farrand

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.

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