An early harvest
September 21 st 2022 - 12:05
- The 116th edition of Paris-Tours, to be contested on 9 October over a total distance of 213.5 km, features a slight change of route this year, with the addition of two vineyard paths. While the length of the unpaved sections remains nearly the same (10 km vs. 9.5 km in 2021), the battle between the contenders to succeed Arnaud Démare could begin a little earlier.
- The stage will be set earlier in the day for the riders of Paris-Tours Espoirs, who will start in Bonneval on a 178.4-kilometre-long course. The under-23 riders will, like their elders, battle on the scheduled eight climbs and ten vineyard paths, with just as many opportunities to excel.
- The youngest riders, i.e. the cadets and juniors, both girls and boys, selected by 14 departmental and regional committees, will be invited to sprint on the Kilometre de Paris-Tours.
The seventh departure of Paris-Tours from Chartres also coincides with the fifth act of a classic renewed by the inclusion of vineyard paths and new climbs, offering opportunities for confident attackers. Serious determination is required to attack, as Jelle Wallays showed in 2019 on his solo break-away 50 kilometres from the city hall of Tours. Or a powerful spring in the legs to stay in contact with the best riders through the vineyards and then emerge on the Avenue de Grammont and win as Arnaud Démare did in the autumn of 2021.
As long as they stay fit until the end of the season, all strong riders who live to race the classics are welcome to seize their chance. This year, they will have many opportunities to shake up the race. They could tack in the wind that sweeps across the plains of Beauce or after traversing Vendôme (km 97.3). The hostilities will most likely begin when the race arrives at the Limeray city limit (km 144.6), with both the first climb and a short kilometre-long vineyard path at the top. The conditions will be ideal for an early lead group to form, which will continue quickly on the road to Pocé-sur-Cisse (km 151.9), the second new addition on the course of the "Classique des Feuilles Mortes". Numerous battles and 50 kilometres later, the remaining contenders could find themselves in a decisive confrontation on the path and/or on the côte de Rochecorbon, 10.5 km from the finish line.