Démare in the spotlight

September 29 th 2022 - 11:46

The 116th edition of Paris-Tours, which will begin in Chartres on 9 October, will mark the end of the career of two-time winner Philippe Gilbert. The former Belgian world champion is less favoured than the defending winner Arnaud Démare who is one of the leading contenders for his succession. 

Among the other favourites, the silver and bronze medallists from the last World Championships, Christophe Laporte and Michael Matthews, will have to make the difference versus candidates such as Benoit Cosnefroy, Jasper Philipsen, Matteo Trentin, and Michal Kwiatkowski. It is sure to be a pitched battle.

Before seeing if the gusts of wind will affect the peloton's fate on the plains of Beauce, a breeze of history is already blowing over Paris-Tours when examining the entry list. Philippe Gilbert, winner of the 2008 and 2009 editions in the jerseys of Française des Jeux and Silence-Lotto, will pin on his last bib in a professional race, putting an end to an exceptional career as a chaser of classics. It seems that the specialists of the past, present and future will gather, as six former winners in total will be present at the start, in addition to the future Belgian retiree, John Degenkolb (winner 2013), Jelle Wallays (2014, 2019), Matteo Trentin (2015, 2017) and Arnaud Démare (2022). Among them, the defending champion has the highest ambitions, launched on a series of victories and top finishes since his return at the Tour of Poland in August. The Groupama-FDJ sprinter scored two top-three results before winning last year... this could be a roadmap to inspire Benoit Cosnefroy (3rd in 2018, 2nd in 2020), who has decided to continue his season and take advantage of the form that saw him win the Grand Prix de Québec.  

French hopes for Paris-Tours will also ride with Christophe Laporte, who has just returned from the World Championships in Australia with a silver medal that gives him every reason to be optimistic. His speed could be decisive if he finishes in a small group. In this case, he might have to beat Michael Matthews, who accompanied him on the 3rd step of the podium in Wollongong last weekend. Depending on the selection of the vineyard paths and the climbs of the course; several top sprinters could be in with a good chance for victory, like Jasper Philipsen or his compatriot Jasper Stuyven, but also Bryan Coquard, Giacomo Nizzolo and Elia Viviani. Lastly, the characteristics of Paris-Tours in its winegrowing version offer fertile ground for long attacks from strong riders like Stefan Küng, Michal Kwiatkowski, Alberto Bettiol, Magnus Cort Nielsen or Anthony Turgis. There are many candidates for the final major win of the season.        

 The leading riders (as of 29/09):  

Team BikeExchange-Jayco: Matthews, Groves (Aus), Craddock (Usa)  

Lotto Soudal: Gilbert, De Lie, Vermeersch (Bel)
Alpecin-Deceuninck: Philipsen (Bel)
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux: Petit, Page (Fra), Van der Hoorn (Ned)
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB Aniolkowski (Pol), Menten (Bel)  

AG2R Citroën Team: Cosnefroy (Fra), Dewulf (Bel)
Groupama-FDJ: Démare (Fra), Küng (Sui), Stewart (Gbr)
Cofidis: Coquard, Zingle (Fra), Wallays (Bel)
Total Energies: Turgis (Fra), Bodnar (Pol)
Team Arkea-Samsic: Louvel, Hofstetter (Fra)
B&B Hotels-KTM: Bonnamour, Koretzky (Fra), Mozzato (Ita)
St Michel-Auber 93: Tesson (Fra)
Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole: Siskevicius (Lit)
Team U Nantes Atlantique: Morin, Mariault (Fra)
Nice Métropole Côte d’Azur: Delacroix (Fra)  

Bora-Hansgrohe: Meeus (Bel), Laas (Est)  

Great Britain
Ineos Grenadiers: Kwiatkowski (Pol), Viviani (Ita), Turner (Gbr)  

Israel-Premier Tech: Nizzolo (Ita), Van Asbroeck, Vanmarcke (Bel)  

Jumbo-Visma: Laporte (Fra), Teunissen, Kooij (Ned)
Team DSM: Degenkolb (All), Eekhoff (Ned)  

Uno-X Pro Cycling Team: Tiller (Nor)  

United Arab Emirates
UAE Team Emirates: Trentin (Ita), Ackermann (All), Gaviria (Col)  

United States
Trek-Segafredo: Stuyven, Theuns (Bel)
EF Education-Easypost: Nielsen (Den), Bettiol (Ita), Bissegger (Che)

10/10/2021 – Paris-Tours Elites – Le peloton dans le chemin de vignes de Noizay
10/10/2021 – Paris-Tours Elites – Le peloton dans le chemin de vignes de Noizay © A.S.O./Gautier Demouveaux

Follow us

Receive exclusive news about Paris-Tours