Dane Soren Kragh Andersen wins revitalised 112th Paris-Tours
Soren Kragh Andersen soloed away with 10 kms to go on the revised course which featured several gravel sectors in the last 50 kms
Dane Anderso (SunWeb) solo'd away from a trio of leaidng riders to win the 112th editon. The addition of 12.5 kilometres of vineyard tracks and seven all-new climbs in the final 60 kilometres made ideal terrain for long-range attacks.
It was Soren Kragh Andersen who went on the attack from a reduced peloton of around 30 riders with 35 kms to go. Behind Terpstra followed.
In incredible scenes, young Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) bridged across to the pair with 20 kms to go.
But with 10 kms to go Andersen caught his companions knapping and attacked, opened a gap that grew and grew to over 40 seconds.
The pair countered but couldn't real him in and he crossed the line 25 second ahead of the pair, with Terpstra outsprinting Cosnefroy.
Behind them Naesen outsprinted a small group of chasers including Sep Vanmarcke, Tiesj Benoot and Philippe Gilbert who punctured earlier on.
The new format was very animated and it was a luck of draw as several favorites punctured or had a mechanical including Greipel.
"I didn't really believe this was possible," said Soren Kragh Andersen. "had some tough weeks after the Tour de France, but I was focused today and I really wanted it. I'm super happy with the outcome. It was an awesome parcours. Some guys say it's dangerous but you have to adapt to it. I can almost not believe it. It's an interesting win for me, a first classic. I could only enjoy it 100 metres before the line. The last 10km was super hard, but it was worth it. I'm really surprised and happy for it because the best of the best are here. It's crazy."
VIDEO: Best of 2018 Paris-Tours
2018 Paris-Tours Top 10
1 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 4:37:55
2 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:25
3 Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
4 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:14
5 Valentin Madouas (Fra) FDJ
6 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
9 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij 0:01:24
10 Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo