INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Paris-Tours

Danny van Poppel : “An important race on many accounts”


Along with Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de Lombardie, Paris-Tours (1.Pro, 10/10) is one of the oldest events in professional cycling and ironically, these three races follow each other on the calendar this season. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will start this Sunday from Chartres, for a 115th edition which will again feature 9.5 kilometers of gravels throughout the vineyards, introduced on the parcours back in 2018.

Included in the last 50 kilometers, these nine sectors of dirt roads feature along with seven short climbs of less than a kilometer-long, meant to lit up the final after a crossing from Chartres without significant obstacles. The first of the gravel sections, which immediately follows the Côte de Goguenne (0.7 km at 7%), will be encountered after 160 kilometers. Once the last vineyard sector has been completed, ten kilometers remain to be covered before reaching Tours.

The selection led by Hilaire Van der Schueren will include Danny Van Poppel, winner of Binche-Chimay-Binche last Tuesday, who in addition to his prowess in the bunch sprints has stood out many times in the Flanders races. A week after fighting in the Hell of the North, Belgian Baptiste Planckaert(19th on the velodrome in Roubaix) will be at the start on Sunday, he also stood out on the cobbles of the GP de Denain (8th) recently and has regularly shone on French soil this season. His compatriot Aimé De Gendt(6th in 2019) and the Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn (8th in 2018) have already done well through the vineyards, as have Belgian Tom Devriendt(11th in 2017) and Italian Andrea Pasqualon (8th in 2017) when the event used its old formula. Belgian Loïc Vliegen completes the solid selection of seven riders.

Sunday will be an important race for several reasons. First, because Paris-Tours occupies a significant place in the history of cycling. It is also the first time that I will ride through the vineyards. In terms of distance it doesn't seem like much, but 9,500 meters of dirt follow each other very quickly in addition to the accumulation of explosive climbs. Tactically it will be quite simple: a vigilant rider at the front on the dirt sectors has a good chance of winning. Our team has great equipment for this kind of competition, for example the Continental GP 5000 S TR 32mm tires. Last Tuesday the majority of the squad was at Paris-Bourges, and we displayed excellent form. That day my teammates managed to keep the peloton together despite many attacks. So it bodes well for this Sunday! Finally, this will be my last race in 2021, and never before have I felt so motivated at this time of the season. I want to close in style with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux!

Selection:
Aimé De Gendt
Tom Devriendt
Andrea Pasqualon
Baptiste Planckaert
Taco van der Hoorn
Danny Van Poppel
Loïc Vliegen

Sports director:
Hilaire Van der Schueren

RESULTS

General Classification

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