Arnaud Démare successfully defends Paris-Tours title
The French rider from Groupama FDJ won Paris-Tours for the second time in a row ahead of Edward Theuns and Sam Bennett
At the end of the 214 km race from Chartres to Tours, he won the sprint ahead of Edward Theuns and Sam Bennett after a perfect lead-out from Groupama.
Demare was estastic and said afterwards, “It’s different this year, we were expected. We had a great team race. I’m very happy. I made seven second places in two months, if there was one that had to be won, it was that one. I had a great end to the season,” reacted the 31-year-old Picard, who closes his2022 season, where he won three stages of the Giro, becoming the French with the most stage wins at the Italian Grand Tour.
The early breakaway kept a healthy lead well into the race, and Uno-X Pro Cycling Team rider Jonas Abrahamsen kept his lead in the front of the race until six kilometers to go, as Kim Heiduk, Olivier Le Gac and Alex Kirsch joined him.
The trio jumped from a group that had been chasing, whilst Groupama-FDJ and later Arkéa Samsic and Lotto Soudal, took up the chase in a relatively big peloton that survived the small hills and gravel sectors spread throughout the final hours of racing.
The leading four couldn't hold off the speeding peloton. Groupama managed to lead Démare out, who was the most powerful in the final sprint, beating Sam Bennett and Edward Theuns.
It was the last race in the pro-career for Philippe Gilbert, who finished in 27th. The 40-year-old Belgian, second in Binche-Chimay-Binche, had won Paris-Tours in 2008 and 2009. Arnaud Demare paid tribute to him.
VIDEO: 2022 Paris-Tours Highlights
2022 Paris-Tours Top 10
01 FRA Arnaud Démare Groupama-FDJ 04:53:01
02 IRL Sam Bennett BORA-hansgrohe + 00
03 BEL Edward Theuns Trek-Segafredo + 00
04 ITA Simone Consonni Cofidis + 00
05 ITA Luca Mozzato B&B Hotels-KTM + 00
06 BEL Dries van Gestel TotalEnergies + 00
07 FRA Sandy Dujardin TotalEnergies + 00
08 FRA Matis Louvel Team Arkéa-Samsic + 00
09 BEL Amaury Capiot Team Arkéa-Samsic + 00
10 FRA Hugo Hofstetter Team Arkéa-Samsic + 00