Skip to main content
Live coverage

Paris-Tours 2013


Live coverage of Paris-Tours, the final classic of the season.

75km remaining from 235km

Sebastian Lander (BMC), Julien Duval (Roubaix Lille Metropole), Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling) and Yannick Martinez (La Pomme-Marseille) are our four leaders. They slipped away early and held a lead of ten minutes after 70 kilometres of racing. Since then, the peloton has gradually begun to chip away at their advantage, with Garmin-Sharp and FDJ the prime movers in the bunch.

The four escapees are heading towards Amboise and one of the quintessential images of Paris-Tours - the evocative crossing of the Loire in the shadow of the mighty Château d'Amboise.

68km remaining from 235km

There's a strong delegation from FDJ near the front of the peloton. They're working on behalf of Arnaud Demare, the man charged with leading the home challenge against the pre-race favourite, John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano).

63km remaining from 235km

Garmin-Sharp are also contributing to the chase in support of Tyler Farrar, who recently had a double helping of good news after a trying season. First up, the American claimed a stage win at the Circuit Franco-Belge, and shortly afterwards, Garmin-Sharp finally handed him a contract for the 2014 season.

60km remaining from 235km

Milan-San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) is another contender for the win today, but for now he sitting at the rear of the peloton, sporting a black jacket, sunglasses and beard, not altogether unlike Joaquin Phoenix in mockumentary 'I'm Still Here.'

57km remaining from 235km

It's worth noting, of course, that it's three years since we had a bunch finish at the end of Paris-Tours, when Oscar Freire made some amends for a disappointing 2010 Worlds in Geelong the previous week by nipping in ahead of Angel Furlan and Gert Steegmans for the win.

Indeed, since Nicola Minali's brace of wins in the mid 1990s, bunch sprints have been surprisingly rare at Paris-Tours, with the only Erik Zabel (2003 and 2005), Alessandro Petacchi (2007) and Freire (2010) breaking the sequence of breakaway wins of various shapes and sizes.

51km remaining from 235km

The terrain becomes slightly more rugged on the run-in towards Tours, and this is where the winning break has taken shape in recent years. One man with particular motivation to win today is Sylvain Chavanel, who is looking to mark his final race in the colours of Omega Pharma-QuickStep, before heading on to pastures new at IAM Cycling next season.

47km remaining from 235km

43km remaining from 235km

Omega Pharma-QuickStep have Andy Fenn in their ranks in the event of a bunch finish, but we can expect some aggression from the likes of Chavanel and Niki Terpstra on the run-in towards Tours.

BMC have Sebastian Lander in the break, but as soon as the escapees are caught, 2011 Paris-Tours winner Greg Van Avermaet will doubtless be agitating at the front end of the bunch.

The camerman from France Télévisions has been focusing intently on Chavanel in the past few kilometres. The Frenchman sits impassively near the front of the bunch, the bill of his cap pulled up.

40km remaining from 235km

The men who plan on attacking in the final 30 kilometres are pushing their way towards the front of the peloton, where are winding up the pace.

36km remaining from 235km

The bunch is bowling through some flat and very exposed roads, and there is a scramble for positions near the front. This is prime territory for splits to develop, and a number of riders are beginning to suffer at the rear of the peloton.

33km remaining from 235km

A delegation from Omega Pharma-QuicKStep has muscled its way to the front of the pack, and it will be interesting to see if Syvlain Chavanel looks to spark a move on the Côte de Crochu.

31km remaining from 235km

Omega Pharma-QuickStep lead the peloton into the base of the climb, and Niki Terpstra attacks as soon as the road goes uphill.

Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) follows Terpstra and the bunch is strung out in a long line on this climb.

The attacking on the front of the bunch is causing problems for those behind, with Ciolek among the riders who has been dropped.

Terpstra kicks again towards the front of the climb and opens a small gap, while Sylvain Chavanel is in a small group of four riders just behind him. Omega Pharma-QuickStep are looking to break up the race on this trio of climbs in the finale

28km remaining from 235km

The peloton has been reduced in size by the flurry of attacks on Côte de Crochu and, more tellingly, the break's lead has been cut back to just 45 seconds.

The next categorised climb is the Côte de Beau Soleil with 10km to go, followed in quick succession by the Côte de l'Épan, before the run-in to the finale on the Avenue de Grammont. That famous finishing straight, of course, has been truncated in recent years, from 2.2km to just 800 metres, due to the construction of a tram line through the centre of Tours.

25km remaining from 235km

24km remaining from 235km

Up front, an attack from Duval sees Sebastian Lander (BMC) dropped from the break. The leading group is down to three with a lead of 26 seconds over the bunch.

Meanwhile, a small counter attack has formed just clear of the main peloton. There are five riders in there, and representatives from Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Belkin, Argos-Shimano and BMC, and the pace has dropped accordingly in the main peloton.

21km remaining from 235km

20km remaining from 235km

18km remaining from 235km

The Vanmarcke group has been brought back by the main peloton, and IAM Cycling have placed a number of riders towards the front of the bunch. One would assume their attention is to hinder the pursuit of their teammate Saramotins, although the pace is high. Perhaps they are not aware they still have a teammate out in front?

15km remaining from 235km

14km remaining from 235km

The twists and turns of the road through Ballan-Mire give Saramotins a chance to breathe an extra second or two into his lead, but he surely won't last much longer.

12km remaining from 235km

12km remaining from 235km

11km remaining from 235km

10km remaining from 235km

Marcato gets a turn from Vanmarcke when he swings over, but Degenkolb is reticent to commit to the move.

The three leaders have a decent gap, however, although they could be joined by a four-man group of chasers featuring Sylvain Chavanel.

9km remaining from 235km

Jetse Bol (Belkin) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) are in this seven-man leading group, which is increasingly looking to be the winning break. Demare did well to track Chavanel on the climb.

7km remaining from 235km

7km remaining from 235km

6km remaining from 235km

5km remaining from 235km

4km remaining from 235km

4km remaining from 235km

3km remaining from 235km

2km remaining from 235km

1km remaining from 235km

1km remaining from 235km

0km remaining from 235km lead out the sprint for Arnaud Demare...

As the bunch sweeps past Bol, Degenkolb dives for Demare's wheel...

John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) wins Paris-Tours.

Michael Morkov (Saxo-Tinkoff) took third, while Demare held on for third place.

Demare opened his sprint early, shortly after Bol was caught, but he had Degenkolb locked onto his wheel, and there was little to be done against the German.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) finished 4th, ahead of Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport-Vlaanderen), while Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) came home in 6th.

There can be little argument that Degenkolb was worth his win, given his presence in the break that formed on the penultimate climb of the day. Morkov and Demare were both in there, too, of course, and that trio showed considerable strength to come through again in the sprint.


Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Latest on Cyclingnews