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Victory of Arnaud Démare, the first for a Frenchman since 2006

Groupama-FDJ at the rendezvous of the vines: the French Arnaud Démare won Paris-Tours on Sunday, beating his compatriot Franck Bonnamour and the Belgian Jasper Stuyven in the sprint. The leader of Groupama-FDJ is the first French to win in Touraine since the victory in 2006 of its current sporting director Frédéric Guesdon.

If the French formation was expected, with the strengths of Démare, Madouas and Küng up its sleeve, victory took shape in the last few meters. Still behind the breakaways Stan Dewulf (AG2R) and Franck Bonnamour (B & B) at the start of the last corner, Stuyven and Démare managed to join them in the middle of the immense straight line of Avenue de Grammont. After a few seconds of hesitation, the Groupama-FDJ sprinter launched the final packaging, only to barely hold out until the end.

However, nothing was written at the entrance to the vineyards that overlook the prefecture of Indre-et-Loire. Three runners first animated the start of the race, on the roads of Beauce. Taking advantage of the edges slowing the peloton, the Belgian Rune Herregodts, the Frenchman Julien Duval and the Dutchman Gijs Leemreize counted up to 7 min 30 seconds ahead of the peloton.

The latter, led in particular by Groupama-FDJ of favorites Démare, Valentin Madouas and Stefan Küng, caught up with the leading trio just before the highlight of the Paris-Tours: the nine vineyards (9.5 km) and seven hills on the program. of the last fifty kilometers. And then it started strong between the vines. A leading group of 37 riders broke away in the first chemin de la Grosse Pierre, in the wake of three contenders Christophe Laporte, Jasper Stuyven and Florian Vermeersch. But Laporte and then Vermeersch suffered a puncture.

Unhappy on the Vuelta and the Tour

Three men then got out of the peloton to try their luck in the stone paths: the Belgians Dewulf (AG2R) and Frederik Frison (Lotto) and the French Bonnamour (B & B). The trio resisted for a long time in the Côtes de Vouvray. Then, reduced to two after Frisian’s puncture in the last vineyard path, the escapees attacked the entrance to Tours with about fifteen seconds ahead of their pursuers Stuyven and Démare, who came out on a counter-attack.

The leaders of the Trek and of the Groupama-FDJ have finally made a success of the junction in the famous final straight, to the great pleasure of Démare, unhappy this season on the Vuelta and the Tour de France. “I never let go,” he said with a smile once the line was crossed. It turns out, winning in the last race of the season, in that way, I’m really very happy. “


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