Paris-Tours has been renovated for several years now with dusting off the cobbled roads and tricky nods, but the wind has always been a staple.
There was an old-fashioned fan battle with several Belgians in the front row, but with more than 40 kilometers from the finish it all came together again.
Favorites like Florian Vermeersch and Greg Van Avermaet were dumped at that point after a festival due to the flat tires.
Stan Deolph, Frederick Frieson and Frank Bonamore had a nose for the right moment when they merged and all three took off.
In the peloton, Groupama-FDJ was very active, but the trio didn’t hold back. Due to misfortune with Frieson in the final, their chances of survival were severely damaged, also because the number of chasers perished in the second high-profile duo: Jasper Steuven and Arnaud Demari.
The four of them could only play cards in the last kilometer: the clever Stuyven allowed Demari to close the last gap, but the Frenchman was still strong enough to put the enemy in hand on the character. He outranked Bonamore, Stoen and DeWolf in that order.
Arnaud Demarie was visibly relieved after a difficult season. “I gave up on the Tour and Volta was also mediocre. So I’m very relieved that I won the last race,” he said.
“Final? Jasper Steuvin and I quickly got back to 10 seconds, but then I faltered.”
“I saw that Stuyven gave everything too, but I had to not trust him. I wanted to open the race myself, because everyone was cookedHe sat on his gums. And I wanted this win so badly.”
Jasper Steuvin analyzed the final “I thought we’d close the gap faster”. “We stopped in 10 seconds and I gave it all up like Arno.”
“I thought I would finish fourth again, but it ended up being third. We closed in too late to launch an attack. It was a great final. That’s what it is.”
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