Quick-Step Floors team play perfect tactics to secure victory in the 2017 edition of Paris-Tours in France, despite defending champ Fernando Gaviria crashing

Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) took his second career victory in Paris-Tours in France on Sunday, sprinting ahead of Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) from a late move.

Quick-Step Floors had the numerical advantage in the finale of the race, with Italian Trentin joined by Dutchman Niki Terpstra in the finale to get the better of the Danish Sunweb rider.

Quadruple 2017 Vuelta a España stage winner Trentin was always going to produce the faster finish from the lead trio, and Andersen could do little to stop the inevitable and had to settle for second. Terpstra finished third, finishing off what had been a dominant performance by Quick-Step Floors.

It’s Trentin’s final race in Quick-Step colours, as he switches to Australian outfit Orica-Scott in 2018.

How it happened

A five-man escape group led the way in the opening stages of the 234.5-kilometre race consisting of Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Michael Goolaerts (Verandas Willems Crelan), Lawrence Naesen (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect), Stephan Poulhies (Armee de Terre) and Brian van Goethem (Roompot-Nederlanse Loterij).

The escape built up a lead of just under six minutes after 40km of racing, but soon after their advantage started to be pegged back.

Quick-Step Floors were an almost ever-present force near the front of the bunch, driving the pace to keep an eye on the break. Inside the final 100km, the break’s advantage had been clipped to under three minutes.

Several other teams put representatives at the front of the bunch to assist Quick-Step as the race hit the final 50km, with Katusha-Alpecin, Lotto-Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo adding to the work.

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The five riders up front started to tire with 35km to go, with only Naesen and van Goethem remaining in the lead.

Disaster stuck for defending champion Fernando Gaviria, who crashed on a corner as the roads were dampened by the onset of rain. Although he made it back to the bunch, his race was effectively over and his Quick-Step team appeared to have already elected to go for Plan B.

Ag2r moved to the front of the peloton over the undulating terrain inside 15km to go, tackling the climbs of Côte de Beau Soleil and Côte de l’Epan. As the break was caught, Trentin almost immediately attacked out of the peloton.

Several riders tried to go with Trentin, but it settled that only Andersen and Terpstra could follow his accelerations. Lotto-Soudal were chasing hard in what was left of the bunch, working for André Greipel.

Trentin and Terpstra appeared to exchange words heading into the final 2km, perhaps settling who would go for the win and how. Either way, whatever they decided worked – with Trentin taking the victory ahead of Andersen. Greipel came across the line for fourth place, just seven seconds behind Trentin.

Quick-Step Floors completed their dominance in the race by placing Maximiliano Richeze in fifth and Yves Lampaert in seventh.

Gaviria finished in a large group at 45 seconds, which also included British sprinter Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).

Result

Paris-Tours 2017, 234.5km
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors, in 5-22-51
2. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb, at same time
3. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors, at 1 sec
4. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, at 7 secs
5. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
6. Oliver Naesen (Bel) Ag2r La Mondiale
7. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
8. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
10. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing, at same time