D-1: THE INFO WITH ONE DAY TO GO
October 12 th 2019 - 18:30
- Just like last year, when Søren Kragh Andersen used the rugged terrain as a launchpad to claim a solo win, the 113th edition of Paris–Tours should come down to a showdown among classics specialists. Oliver Naesen, Niki Terpstra, and Stefan Küng will be vying for his crown this year.
- For the second time running, the peloton will have to tackle vineyards tracks (nine sectors totalling 10.7 km), along with seven climbs in the final 50 kilometres.
- The classic of the falling leaves will also be the final curtain call for Brice Feillu, the winner of the stage to Andorra-Arcalís in the 2009 Tour de France, who will be hanging up his wheels at the end of the season.
CÉDRIC COUTOULY: "ONLY THE TOUGH GUYS WILL BE A FACTOR"
Paris–Tours has ended in a bunch sprint 12 times since the finish line was moved to the Avenue de Grammont in 1988. In other words, short- or long-range solo attacks and small group sprints have carried the day almost two thirds of the time. While the addition of vineyards to the course in 2018 ripped the peloton apart, the sporting manager of the race, Cédric Coutouly, thinks that the selection could be less abrupt this time round. "As well as shortening those sectors a bit, we increased the distance between the two that did the most damage last year. We have also thrown in a 10-kilometre breather that will make it easier for groups to reform. I have an inkling that the decisive selection will come later. On the other hand, team tactics will be less important than usual because almost every vineyard track comes right after a climb, when everyone will be going into the red anyway. As a result, only the tough guys will be a factor. However, having a teammate in the finale can still come in handy from a strategic point of view, for example, in the event of a small group finish."
BRICE FEILLU READY FOR SWANSONG
Brice Feillu is set to hang up his wheels at the end of what is his 11th season in the pro peloton. The Frenchman, now racing for Arkéa–Samsic, experienced the sweetest moment of his career back in 2009 when, riding the Tour de France as a neo-pro, he claimed a Pyrenean stage ending in Ordino Arcalís, Andorra. The man from Châteaudun, who will be competing almost in his own backyard in the first part of the race on Sunday, has taken part in seven editions of the Grande Boucle and will be starting his fifth Paris–Tours.
PARIS–TOURS ESPOIRS: A LAUNCH PAD FOR 205 YOUNG RIDERS
Just like its pro counterpart, Paris-Tours Espoirs is an important late-season race for U23 riders. 31 teams featuring some of the most prolific rising stars of this season will roll out of Bonneval on Sunday. If defending champion Marten Kooistra is to go two for two on the vineyard tracks, he will have to see off the likes of the Norwegian winner of the Tour de l'Avenir, Tobias Foss. The U23 is a launch pad to the elite: Dutchman Nils Eekhoff, who came in third in last year's Paris–Tours Espoirs, will be racing in the pro ranks with Sunweb this time round. Another five podium finishers in the U23 category will be riding "with the big boys" on Sunday: Angelo Tulik, Tony Gallopin, Olivier Le Gac and Kris Boeckmans, as well as Jelle Wallays, the only man to have won both races.
PARIS–TOURS KILOMETRE: THE GIRLS STEP TO THE FORE
Before the U23 riders and the pros, it will be the turn of the O15 riders and Juniors selected by the departmental and regional cycling committees to take the Avenue de Grammont by storm. 19 teams will go head to head in the Paris–Tours Kilometre following the format that premiered last year, with mixed teams of two girls and two boys apiece.