Paris-Tours 2011 photo gallery by Graham Watson>>
Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) won the 2011 edition of Paris-Tours on Sunday.
Van Avermaet sprinted away from breakaway companion Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) to take the win. Marcato appeared to suffer from leg cramp on the run-in to the finish and was forced to hold back in the sprint.
Dane Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank) finished third with Briton Ian Stannard (Sky) in fourth, both at 15 seconds.
Van Avermaet and Marcato were part of an early, large escape group of around 20 riders that successfully kept the sprinters' teams at bay as several squads in the peloton appeared reluctant to work effectively to bring the break back.
Van Avermaet and Marcato had attacked the larger escape group before the final climb of the day. Despite several chase attempts, their momentum was enough to give them the advantage.
Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) brought the bunch home one minute and 23 seconds after Van Avermaet crossed the line.
Newly-crowned road race world champion Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) gave his rainbow jersey its first airing in the race, but did not figure in the top order of the results sheet, placing 42nd in the same time as McEwen.
It was a race of 'lasts' for several riders. Sky's Kurt Asle Arvesen will now bow out of competition to switch to a directeur sportif role in the British team, and it was Australians Stuart O'Grady and Robbie McEwen's final races for their respective Leopard-Trek and RadioShack teams.
Paris-Tours 2011, 230.5km
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing in 5-21-43
2. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM at 2 secs
3. Kasper Klostergaard (Den) Saxo Bank at 15 secs
4. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky
5. Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1 at same time
6. Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ at 22 secs
7. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) RadioShack
8. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard-Trek
9. Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil-Shimano at same time
10. Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ at 26 secs
Stuart O'Grady leads the escape group
Ian Stannard in escape group
Greg Van Avermaet wins
Paris-Tours 2011 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Cavendish's first race in rainbow jersey at Paris-Tours
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
Black Friday children's bikes deals: Early Rider, Specialized, Cannondale and more
From balance bikes and BMXs to the more grown-up machines, we've found the best savings from around the web
By Simon Smythe • Published
Black Friday bike deals live: computers, smartwatches, clothing, shoes and more!
Black Friday is well under way and we'll be on hand throughout the long weekend picking out the very best deals on cycling kit
By Stefan Abram • Published