Paris-Tours, World Cup Event 9

France, October 5, 1997

1997 Results and Reports

1996 Results

Route Map - Profile of Route

Past Winners

Teams and Main Riders

Race distance - 254.5 kms:

  1. Andrej Tchmil (Ukr) Lotto			     5.23.44 (48,40 km/h)
  2. Maximilian Sciandri (GB) Francaise des Jeux  	0.01
  3. Henk Vogels (Australia) GAN              	0.04
  4. Claudio Camin (Ita) Brescialat
  5. Jan Svorada (Cze) Mapei
  6. Mirko Rossato (Ita) Scrigno
  7. Biagio Conte (Ita) Scrigno
  8. Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Rabobank
  9. Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank
 10. Luca Gelfi (Ita)  Brescialat
 11. JosÚ Rodriguez (Spa) Kelme
 12. Davide Casarotto (Ita) Scrigno
 13. Lars Michaelsen (Den) TVM
 14. Michele Bartoli (Ita) MG
 15. Silvio Martinello (Ita) Saeco
 16. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei
 17. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Francaise des Jeux
 18. Sven Teutenberg (Ger) US Postal
 19. Peter Van Petegem TVM
 20. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Casino
 21. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Scrigno
 22. Frederic Guesdon (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
 23. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) Festina
 24. Gilles Bouvard (Fra) Festina
 25. Ruben Galvan (Spa) Kelme
 26. Scott Sunderland (Australia) GAN
 27. Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Francaise des Jeux
 28. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once
 29. Bruno Thibout (Fra) Cofidis
 30. Samuele Schiavina (Ita) Asics            all s.t.

World Cup Standings after Race 9

  1. Rolf S÷rensen (Den) Rabobank           		275 pts 
  2. Michele Bartoli (Ita) MG-Technogym    		240
  3. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Francaise des Jeux  		214
  4. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-GB             		212
  5  Andrej Tchmil (Ukr) Lotto           		212
  6. Maximilian Sciandri (GB) Francaise des Jeux	183
  7. Beat Zberg (Swi) Mercatone Uno              	135
  8. Alberto Elli (Ita)            			120
  9. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) ONCE        		114
 10. Davide Casarotto (Ita) Scrigno        		112

Brief as it happened

16:00 local - 191 riders, Museeuw didn't start as he is ill. The peloton are flying over the road and are more than 30 minutes in front of the fastest schedule allowed for.

Minali (last year's winner) and Bartoli have 45 seconds on the peloton. The notable feature is that it is a very fast race:

1st hour: 49,300 km
2nd hour: 48,900 km
3nd hour: 47,900 km

36 km to finish - Laurent Jalabert (ONCE) and Daniele Contrini (Brescialat) have 20 seconds on the peloton.

30 km to finish - peloton complete.

7 km to finish - Fondriest jumps on the last few hills.

On the Petit Pas d'Ane (5,5% - maximum 10%), a group of 11 catch Fondriest.

5 km to finish - Tchmil jumps, Sciandri follows.

3 km to finish - The two have 10 seconds on the rest.

Finish - Tchmil.

Race Report

Ukrainian Andrei Tchmil won the fastest ever Paris-Tours classic on Sunday, boosting his confidence before next week's road race world championships.

Tchmil, winner of the Paris-Roubaix race in 1994, outsprinted breakaway companion Max Sciandri of Britain in the final stretch to win at an averge speed of 48.4 kph.

The two had attacked with four kilometres of the 254.5-km race left.

The previous fastest Paris-Tours race was won by Belgian Hendrick Redant in 1992 at an average speed of 46.745 kph.

Unusually, the race did not finish in a mass sprint and title holder Nicola Minali, who broke away with compatriot Michele Bartoli 40 kms from the finish, failed in his bid to win for a third successive time.

Australian Henk Vogels had to be content with winning the sprint for third place, four seconds behind Tchmil, who had finished second in 1995.

``I'm very happy to win a World Cup race three years after the Paris-Roubaix because I had a lot of second and third places and I was unlucky. I knew inside that I was still as good a rider,'' said Tchmil.

Tchmil's delight contrasted sharply with road race world champion Johan Museeuw's mood.

A virus prevented the Belgian from starting on Sunday and he might not be able to defend his crown in San Sebastian, Spain.

Other fancied riders for the road race title fared better. Bartoli spent 20 kms in the lead with Minali.

As soon as the two Italians, who had launched the first real breakaway of the day to build a lead of 45 seconds, were caught with 30 kms left, Frenchman Laurent Jalabert also tried his luck, staying on his own at the front for 10 kms.

It looked as though the race would again end in a mass sprint when Sciandri and Tchmil made the decisive move. Sciandri led the sprint with 500 metres left but Tchmil proved stronger.

``We didn't say much to each other, just let's go,'' Tchmil said.

Bartoli finished 14th to score vital world championship points. He now trails leader Rolf Sorensen of Denmark by 35 points with one race left, the Tour of Lombardy.

Sorensen's season is over because of injury

Andrei Tchmil to become a Belgian

Paris-Tours winner Andrei Tchmil may be one of the most gifted one-day racers in cycling but he has so far collected more passports than victories.

The 34-year-old Russian, who was born in Moldova but races for Ukraine -- his wife's motherland -- and lives in Italy after a short spell in France, has at last decided to settle down.

He wants to become Belgian to put an end to his endless quest for citizenship.

``Since the beginning of my career I have had to change passports at least 10 times,'' Tchmil, who applied for Belgian citizenship in May, said.

``Now I keep two passports which I show at borders depending on the country I race in. Each time I must ask for a visa, it takes hours.''

Tchmil has raced for the past two seasons for the Belgian Lotto team.

``I decided to become Belgian for the sake of my family. I want them to have a quieter future,'' he said.

But there are other reasons for his search for yet another nationality.

With fellow-Ukrainian Sergei Ouchakov out through injury, time-trial specialist Sergei Gonchar will be the only rider Tchmil has heard of in the Ukrainian team for next week's road world championship in San Sebastian, Spain.

``I don't think I have a serious chance to win this against teams like Italy, France or Belgium, who are far better structured,'' Tchmil, the 1994 Paris-Roubaix winner, said in fluent French.

Tchmil also collected podium places in prestigious races such as the Tour of Flanders. This season hard luck and pedestrian form had prevented him from shining in World Cup races and his victory in Tours at a record average speed of 48.4 kph came as a relief.

Heaven knows what language he used in the final sprint of the Paris-Tours classic as he was battling it out with Italian-born Briton Max Sciandri.

``We didn't say much. Just let's go,'' Tchmil said.

91st Paris--Tours -- Report

Fine weather and a favourable wind with 181 starters and 110 finishers for the official distance of 264km (over which the race was timed, cf the 254.5km pre-announced). Johan Museeuw (Mapei-GB) and Arvis Piziks (Rabobank) did not start.

French trio Pretot (GAN), Derame (US Postal) and Hatton (BigMat) attacked at km4 but the peloton reacted vigorously, reeling them in at km26. With the peloton taking full advantage of a tail wind, Vasseur (GAN), Aldag (Telekom) and Aus (Casino) were still able to get clear at km49, being joined by a group of 23 at Bonneval (km66). This lead group, which included 1995 and 1996 winner Minali (Batik), Barthe (Casino) and L. Jalabert (ONCE) built a lead of 1.20 but was brought back by the peloton urged on by TVM at km123.

After a period of calm, Bartoli (MG) attacked fiercely with 68km to go (approx km196), with only Minali latching on, but doing litle work. At Amboise, with 54km to go, the two Italians had a lead of 50 seconds but they were being kept to a controlled distance by Mapei on the front of the peloton and were caught at km219 after an escape of 29km.

A little later at km226, Van Bondt (Vlaanderen 2002) and Contrini (Brescialat) built a gap and were immediately joined by Jalabert. Van Bondt missed a corner and fell back and then Jalabert dropped Contrini on the hill at Crochu (27km to go) and continued alone. His lead got to 30 seconds but had fallen to 18 seconds by the 20km to go mark and he was caught with 18km to the line.

Tchmil (Lotto) and Sciandri (La Francaise des Jeux) got clear just over 4km to the finish, reaching the long (2.6km) avenue de Grammont finishing straight in Tours with a lead of 12 seconds and still 11 seconds at the 1km to go mark. Tchmil shook off Sciandri in the last 200m beating him by a second at a race record speed of 48.929kph, with Vogels (GAN) breaking clear of the peloton for third place at 4 seconds.

Andrei Tchmil -- Palmares

Born January 22, 1963 at Khabarovsk, USSR (Ukraine) Married to Helena, with two children (Maxime and Oksana)

Pro in 1989, 1,76m, 75kg

Teams: 1989-90 Alfa Lum; 1991 SEFB; 1992-93 GB-MG; 1994-97 Lotto

Principal victories: Russian road champion1991; Paris--Roubaix 1994; Paris--Tours 1997; GP Ouest- France a Plouay 1994; GP E3 at Harelbeke 1994; Tour du Limousin 1995; Paris--Camembert 1995

Principal placings: 2nd Paris--Roubaix 1995 (4th in 1997, 6th in 1996); 2nd Paris--Tours 1995 (4th in 1992); 2nd Gent--Wevelgem 1997; 2nd Paris--Brussels 1997 (4th in 1996); 3rd Ronde van Vlaanderen 1994 and 1995 (4th in 1997, 6th in 1996); 3rd Omloop Het Volk 195; 4th Frankfurt GP 1994; 5th Clasica San Sebastian 1994; 6th World Championships 1993.

UCI classification: 15th