Paris-Tours, Cat CDM

France, October 4, 1998

1997 Results     Past Winners     Brief History     Map of Route     Profile of Route    
1998 Results and Reports


Paris-Tours is 101 years old having been introduced by the Paris-Velo newspaper in May 1897. The race finished in the newly built Tour Velodrom and was won by the Frenchmand Prevost who beat a field of 41 in the 250 kms race. His average speed was 31 km/h. The next race was in 1901 then 1906. It became an annual event from then and was not held during the War years (1915, 1916, 1940).

Following World War I, the distance covered was increased to more than 300 kilometers. Paris-Tours went back to a more normal distance in 1927: 253 km. The year 1935 saw lighter bikes and accessories appear, which made Paris-Tours an even faster race and justified the creation of the yellow ribbon, given to the fastest Paris-Tours winner, by the "l'Auto" newspaper. This race was not made for specialists, but for complete riders.

The race has changed many times in its history. In 1950, the race ended at the Champ de Mars instead of at the Victor Lefevre Velodrome. In 1952, the finish line was on top of l'Alouette hill. In 1965, in luddite style, they only allowed fixed gears but the strategy failed because of a huge tail wind and the winner (Karstens, see below) averaged over 45 km/h. In 1974, Paris-Tours changed its name and became Tours-Versailles. A series of name changes occured - under the general heading of "Grand Prix d'Automne" - Blois-Montlhery, Blois-Chaville and Creteil-Chaville.

In 1988, Paris-Tours was back to itself.

The World Cup resumes on Sunday with Paris-Tours, the race for sprinters, a week before the World Championship road race. In the absence of any suspense at the top of the classification - with Italian Michele Bartoli almost guaranteed of winning, the race promises the last great battle between the fast men in the peloton for the season. The route is not difficult and they have a long 2.4 kms straight sprint into the heart of Tours (avenue du Grammont) and the finish.

The sprint specialists like Cipollini, Zabel, Blijlevens, Van Petegem will not be there however. This leaves space for Belgian Tom Steels and the Italian Nicola Minali (twice victorious - 1995 and 1996). Other sprinters who will figure include Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu, Italian Giovanni Lombardi, and the man himself, Marcel Wust, who is the fastest of all the sprinters entered. Twenty-four teams will ride.

The sprinters may not have it all their own way though. Recent history of the race has shown that riders like Andrei Tchmil, the so-called "puncheurs" can win this race. Last year, the Belgian (who was riding as a Ukrainian) attacked in the last 5 kms with Brit British Maximilian Sciandri and won with an overall average speed of 47.539 km/h, a race record. The sprinters were thwarted by his daring move.

The weather this time of year to the South of Paris is usually favourable to the riders. The win is expected to blow from the north-east and give them support. The race is typically very fast. The race starts from Saint-Arnoult-les-Yvelines (south-west of Paris) and makes a long pass through the Beauce before entering the more narrow and winding roads of the Val-de-Loire.

Three Spanish teams (ONCE, Banesto and Kelme) will not enter. Nor will TVM be there. This is a direct consequence of the Festina scandal at the Tour de France and the aftermath. On the other hand, the Italian teams will be there and World Cup leader, Michele Bartoli, who is also the man to beat for the World Championships on October 11, has announced he will race. Other strong contenders for the World Championship title, like Dutchman Leon van Bon, French rider Emmanuel Magnien and Lance Armstrong will also be racing.

Paris-Tours offers and ideal chance also to those who are not racing next weekend in Valkenburg. The riders who failed to make their national teams may have something to prove. For example, Italian rider Fabrizio Guidi won three stages in the Vuelta but was not selected in the Italian team. Other riders have been excluded for legal reasons. Among them two stand tall. Richard Virenque and Laurent Brochard. The latter will be carrying the rainbow jersey as current world champion for the last time. He as second at Paris-Bourges a race won in fine style by Belgian Ludo Dierckxsens and also showed the form of Andrei Tchmil. The Lotto team with Dierckxsens and Tchmil are quite capable of misleading the sprinters.

A Brief History

1920 Eugene Christophe, nicknamed the "Old Gaul," escapes in freezing rain, with 150 kilometers left into the stage, and beats Honore Barthelemy by 15 mins.

1921 Snow reduces the 64 starters to 7 finishers. Francis Pelissier, escaped on Chinon hill, to beat Christophe and Mottiat.

1922 Next year, Henri Pelissier brother of Francis narrowly beats Suter. This was the closest victory.

1935 Rene Le Greves wins the race in the fastest race to date. He is among four sprinters who dominated the times - Le Greves, Roger Lapebie and Di Paco.

1936 The speeds are rising and with an average of 41 km/h, Danneels sprints to victory.

1948 It is now up to an average of 43 km/h, as Louis Caput beats Mignat and Idee in the sprint. The three had staged a long breakaway.

1950 Andre Mahe solos to victory after breaking away in the last 10 kms. The pack just about chases him down. The big development was the new front ring and back ring he rode with - 52 x 14.

1956 At the 44 kms to the finish mark, Albert Bouvet attacks at Poce-sur-Cisse and keeps a narrow margin (never more than 50 seconds), and triumphs on top of l'Alouette hill. Notable feature - no Frenchman has won the race since.

1961 Belgium's Joseph Wouters sprints to win from a group who had staged a successful breakway. Notable feature - he was under 20 years of age.

1962 Joop De Roo wins with a record average of 44.9 km/h

1965 Fixed gear bikes only. The organisers said it was to make the race tougher. A strong tail wind thwarts them and the Dutchman Karstens (23) takes the new record with an avs of 45 km/h.

1992 Another strong tail wind, Belgium's Henrik Redant rides in with 46.7 km/h ave, and a new record.

1997 Andre Tchmil sets the new record 48.4 km/h.

Previous Winners and Placegetters

Year Winner                     Second                  Third           kms   avs

1896 E. Prevost (Fra)           Ouzou (Fra)             Bouvet (Fra)    250  31.200
1901 Jean Fischer (Fra)         Lorgeou (Fra)           Wattelier (Fra) 253  26.982
1906 Lucien Petit-Breton (Fra)  Trousselier (Fra)       Cornet (Fra)    234  29.557
1907 Georges Passerieu (Fra)    Pottier (Fra)           Georget (Fra)   245  32.186
1908 Omer Beaugendre (Fra)      Saillot (Fra)           Faber (Lux)     248  30.690
1909 Francois Faber (Lux)       Alavoine (Fra)          Paul (Fra)      248  30.680
1910 Francois Faber (Lux)       Trousselier (Fra)       Engel (Fra)     248  32.105
1911 Octave Lapize (Fra)        Van Hauwaert (Bel)      Georget (Fra)   248  27.054
1912 Louis Heusghem (Bel)       Deruyter (Bel)          Petit-Breton    246  26.348
1913 Charles Crupelandt (Fra)   Passerieu (Fra)         Luguet (Fra)    246  33.931
1914 Oscar Egg (Swi)            Engel (Fra)             Thys (Bel)      316  32.147
1917 Philippe Thys (Bel)        Godivier (Fra)          Christophe (Fr) 246  34.009
1918 Charles Mantelet (Fra)     Cazalis (Swi)           Michiels (Bel)  248  30.182
1919 Hector Thiberghien (Bel)   Vandenhove (Bel)        Rossius (Bel)   342  27.178
1920 Eugene Christophe (Fra)    Barthelemy (Fra)        De Jonghe (Bel) 342  25.570
1921 Francis Pelissier (Fra)    Mottiat (Bel)           Christophe (Fr) 342  22.893
1922 Henri Pelissier (Fra)      Suter (Swi)             Jacquinot (Fra) 342  29.653
1923 Paul Deman (Bel)           Sellier (Bel)           Thiberghien (B) 342  25.014
1924 Louis Mottiat (Bel)        Frantz (Lux)            Huyvaert (Bel)  342  28.423
1925 Den. Verschueren (Bel)     Mortelmans (Bel)        Hilarion (Fra)  342  27.469
1926 Henri Suter (Swi)          Notter (Swi)            Frantz (Lux)    324  28.230
1927 Henri Suter (Swi)          Van Slembroek (Bel)     Ronsse (Bel)    253  35.324
1928 Den. Verschueren (Bel)     Pelissier (Fra)         Gallotini (Fra) 253  34.746
1929 Nicolas Frantz (Bel)       Deolet (Bel)            Ronsse (Bel)    253  27.355
1930 Jean MarechaL (Fra)        Bidot (Fra)             Bonduel (Bel)   253  34.112
1931 Andre Leducq (Fra)         Parioleau (Fra)         Pelissier (Fra) 240  31.276
1932 Julien Moineau (Fra)       Sieronski (Ger)         Viarengo (Fra)  253  37.251
1933 Jules Merviel (Fra)        Magne (Fra)             Geyer (Ger)     243  37.528
1934 Gustave Danneels (Bel)     Gijssels (Bel)          Vervaecke (Bel) 243  38.358
1935 Rene Le Greves (Fra)       Lapebie (Fra)           Di Paco (Ita)   251  37.900
1936 Gustave Danneels (Bel)     Mithouard (Fra)         Coelaert (Bel)  251  41.455
1937 Gustave Danneels (Bel)     Bonduel (Bel)           De Caluwe (Bel) 251  41.092
1938 Jules Rossi (Ita)          Disseaux (Bel)          Maye (Fra)      251  42.097
1939 Frans Bonduel (Bel)        Storme (Bel)            Pirmez (Bel)    251  39.655
1941 Paul Maye (Fra)            Goutal (Fra)            Cloarec (Fra)   249  36.096
1942 Paul Maye (Fra)            Virol (Fra)             Rossi (Ita)     248  36.024
1943 Gaby Gaudin (Fra)          Buysse (Bel)            Hendrickx (Bel) 241  37.422
1944 Lucien Teisseire (Fra)     Gauthier (Fra)          Thietard (Fra)  253  41.452
1945 Paul Maye (Fra)            Goutorbe (Fra)          Idee (Fra)      253  37.161
1946 Brik Schotte (Bel)         Prevotal (Fra)          De Muer (Fra)   251  37.714
1947 Brik Schotte (Bel)         Idee (Fra)              Sercu (Bel)     251  35.678
1948 Louis Caput (Fra)          Mignat (Fra)            Idee (Fra)      251  43.096
1949 Albert Ramon (Bel)         Neri (Ita)              Geus (Bel)      251  41.377
1950 Andre Mahe (Fra)           Caffi (Fra)             Lapebie (Fr)    251  39.536
1951 Jacques Dupont (Fra)       Martini (Ita)           Redolfi (Fra)   251  41.691
1952 Raymond Guegan (Fra)       Schotte (Bel)           Caput (Fra)     253  40.861
1953 Jozef Schils (Bel)         Kubler (Swi)            Gilles (Fra)    253  43.529
1954 Gilbert Scodeller (Fra)    Bobet (Fra)             Michel (Fra)    253  40.881
1955 Jacques Dupont (Fra)       De Bruyne (Bel)         Cieleska (Fra)  253  43.766
1956 Albert Bouvet (Fra)        Schepens (Bel)          Bobet (Fra)     251  40.844
1957 Alfred DE Bruyne (Bel)     Bobet (Fra)             Conterno (Ita)  251  42.842
1958 Gilbert De Smet (Bel)      De Bruyne (Bel)         Mahe (Fra)      251  37.148
1959 Rik Van Looy (Bel)         Niesten (Ned)           Noyelle (Bel)   267  37.791
1960 Jo De Haan (Ned)           Stolker (Ned)           Otano (Spa)     267  40.001
1961 Jos Wouters (Bel)          De Smet (Bel)           Novak (Fra)     267  38.407
1962 Jo De Roo (Ned)            Melckenbeeck (Bel)      Beheyt (Bel)    267  44.903
1963 Jo De Roo (Ned)            Simpson (Ang)           Poulidor (Fra)  255  39.162
1964 Guido Reybroeck (Bel)      Van Looy (Bel)          Desmet (Bel)    248  36.466
1965 Gerben Karstens (Ned)      Desmet (Bel)            Deferm (Bel)    247  45.029
1966 Guido Reybroeck (Bel)      Van Looy (Bel)          Lemeteyer (Fra) 249  43.355
1967 Rik Van Looy (Bel)         Hoban (Ang)             Samyn (Fra)     249  41.720
1968 Guido Reybroeck (Bel)      Godefroot (Bel)         Leman (Bel)     249  44.584
1969 Herman Vanspringel (Bel)   Verbeeck (Bel)          Jochmans (Bel)  286  43.038
1970 Jurgen Tschan (Ger)        Pijnen (Ned)            Reybroeck (Bel) 286  41.011
1971 Rik Van Linden (Bel)       Basso (Ita)             Karstens (Ned)  285  40.766
1972 Noel Vantyghem (Bel)       Huysmans (Bel)          De Geest (Bel)  292  40.679
1973 Rik Van Linden (Bel)       De Vlaeminck (Bel)      Verbeeck (Bel)  264  42.076 


1974 Francesco Moser (Ita)      Danguillaume (Fra)      Leman (Bel)     254  43.268
1975 Freddy Maertens (Bel)      Van Looy (Bel)          De Vlaeminck    247  41.241

Grand Prix d'Automne

1976 Ronald De Witte (Bel)      Poulidor (Fra)          Bouloux (Fra)   253  43.519
1977 Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)       De Muynck (Bel)         Kuiper (Ned)    259  44.531
BLOIS-MONTLHERY (Grand Prix d'Automne)

1978 Jan Raas (Ned)             Jacobs (Bel)            Van Calster (B) 271  38.896

BLOIS-CHAVILLE (Grand Prix d'Automne)                           

1979 Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)       Saronni (Ita)           Raas (Ned)      228  41.838
1980 Daniel Willems (Bel)       Vigneron (Fra)          Vanhaerens (Be) 228  40.449
1981 Jan Raas (Ned)             Van den Haute (Bel)     Colyn (Bel)     228  40.113
1982 Luc Vandenbroucke (Bel)    Gavazzi (Ita)           De Wolf (Bel)   228  40.777
1983 Ludo Peeters (Bel)         Van der Poel (Ned)      Raas (Ned)      237  43.431
1984 Sean Kelly (Irl)           Rooks (Ned)             Wojtinek (Fra)  249  41.411

CRETEIL-CHAVILLE (Grand Prix d'Automne)

1985 Ludo Peeters (Bel)         Argentin (Ita)          Kelly (Ire)     249  38.607
1986 Phil Anderson (Aus)        Peillon (Fra)           Mottet (Fra)    253  40.765
1987 Adri Van Der Poel (Ned)    Van Vliet (Ned)         Fondriest (Ita) 255  38.734


1988 Peter Pieters (Ned)        Goessens (Bel)          Kelly (Ire)     290  34.202
1989 Jelle Nijdam (Ned)         Vanderaerden (Bel)      Museeuw(Bel)    283  39.402
1990 Rolf Sorensen (Dan)        Anderson (Aus)          Fondriest (Ita) 283  39.601
1991 Johan Capiot (Bel)         Ludwig (Ger)            Verhoeven (Ned) 286  38.406
1992 Hendrik Redant (Bel)       Henn (Ger)              Ludwig (Ger)    286  46.745
1993 Johan Museeuw (Bel)        Fondriest (Ita)         Gontchenkov     251  38.142
1994 Erik Zabel (Ger)           Bortolami (Ita)         Spruch (Pol)    250  39.934
1995 Nicola Minali (Ita)        Tchmil (Rus)            Teutenberg (Ge) 250  43.363
1996 Nicola Minali (Ita)        Steels (Bel)            Lombardi (Ita)  249  44.860
1997 Andrei Tchmil (Ukr)        Sciandri (GB)           Vogels (Aus)    254  48.400