Map of Route
Profile of Route
1998 Results and Reports
PreviewParis-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 History1920 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.
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 TOURS-VERSAILLES 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 PARIS-TOURS 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