Saturday, October 6, 2012
A few hours before the start of the final classic of the season, the 106th edition of the Paris-Tours.
Known as the sprinter's classic, it's a long and relatively flat course until the last 30km of three short climbs: The Cote de Crochu, Cote de Beau Soliel and Cote de l'Epan. The three hills are enough to loosen the legs of the riders and get them ready for the final dragster finish.
My favorites for this 235.5km Autumn epic goes to the surging young talented, John Degenkolb, last year's winner Greg Van Avermaet and Juan Antonio Flecha. For Degenkolb, 5 stage wins in the Vuelta and 4th in the world road race and destined for more success can cap off with a prestigious French victory. Greg Van Avermaet can win it and emulate fellow Belgian Philippe Gilbert (2008-09) with 2 straight victories. And, for the Spanish Flandrien Juan Flecha, it would be a perfect way to bow out before he leaves Team SKY for his move next season to Vacansoleil-DCM!