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Paris–Tours is a French one-day classic cycling race held every October from the outskirts of Paris to the cathedral city of Tours. It is a predominantly flat course through the Chevreuse and Loire valleys; the highest point is 200 m, at Le Gault-du-Perche. It is known as a "Sprinters' Classic" because it frequently ends in a bunch sprint at the finish, in Tours. For several decades the race arrived on the 2.7 km long Avenue de Grammont, one of cycling's best-known finishing straits, particularly renowned among sprinters. Since 2011 the finish was moved to a different location because a new tram line was built on the Avenue de Grammont.[1] The 112th edition took place on October 7, 2018.

Paris–Tours logo.png
RegionChevreuse to Loire, France
CompetitionUCI Europe Tour
OrganiserAmaury Sport Organisation
Web Edit this at Wikidata
First edition1896 (1896)
Editions112 (as of 2018)
First winner Eugène Prévost (FRA)
Most wins
Most recent Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)



Paris–Tours was first run for amateurs in 1896, making it one of the oldest cycling races in the world. It was organised by the magazine Paris-Vélo, which described that edition won by Eugène Prévost as, “A crazy, unheard of, unhoped for success”. It was five years before the race was run again and a further five years (1906) before it became an annual event for professionals, with L'Auto as organiser. L’Auto ran the Tour de France (TDF) and Paris–Tours is still run by the Tour organiser, Amaury Sport Organisation.

The race was part of the UCI Road World Cup from 1989 to 2004, and the UCI ProTour from 2005 to 2007. Since 2008 it is part of the UCI Europe Tour.

Paris–Tours now starts in Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines 50km south-west of Paris, runs south-west towards Tours crossing the Loire at Amboise, then over several small climbs before the finish on the Avenue de Grammont in Tours

The routeEdit

Paris–Tours has had many route changes although the distance has remained about 250 km. The start was moved out of Paris in the early days, first to Versailles, then to at Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines. Since 2009, the route has started in the Department of Eure-et-Loir.[2] A loop through Chinon was added between 1919 and 1926 to make the approach to Tours hilly lanes on the south bank of the Loire and the total distance 342 km. Sprinters continued to dominate and in 1959 the organisers added three ascents of the Alouette Hill. It made little difference.

In 1965 dérailleurs were banned and riders were limited to two gears. The race was won by Dutch first-year professional Gerben Karstens who chose 53/16 and 53/15, covering 246 km at a record 45.029km/h. The experiment was judged a failure when the 1966 race ended the same way as 1964.

The course was reversed and the route constantly changed between 1974 and 1987. It was sometimes known as the Grand Prix d'Automne and sometimes by the names of the start and finish towns. For many the event lost character as the race was run between Tours and Versailles (1974–75) Blois and Chaville (1976–77 and 1979–84), Blois to Autodrome de Montlhéry (1978) and Créteil to Chaville (1985–87). In 1988 the race reverted to its original Paris–Tours route.

The wind can often be hostile; in 1988 Peter Pieters averaged just 34kmh, slowest for 57 years. However, Paris–Tours becomes the fastest classic when the wind is behind the riders, Óscar Freire winning in 2010 at 47.730kmh. It gave him the Ruban Jaune or "Yellow Riband" for the fastest speed in a classic, in fact the Ruban Jaune has been awarded nine times (as of 2016) to riders winning Paris–Tours and posting the fastest time in a professional race.

Classic races and ridersEdit

The 1921 edition had blizzards. Half the field abandoned in Chartres. The winner, Francis Pélissier, punctured late in the race; his hands frozen, he tore the tyre off the rim with his teeth. Riding on the rim, he caught Eugène Christophe and soloed to the finish. Rik Van Looy won the 1959 race, the first to feature the Alouette Hill. One of the best sprinters of his day, Van Looy dropped two others on the second ascent and won alone.

The record for the most victories is three, held by Gustave Danneels (1934, 1936, 1937), Paul Maye (1941, 1942, 1945), Guido Reybroeck (1964, 1966, 1968) and Erik Zabel (1994, 2003, 2005).

Eddy Merckx never won Paris–Tours; he should have triumphed in 1968 but handed victory to team mate Guido Reybrouck, pulling out of the sprint, to thank him for help earlier in the season. Later, Noël Vantyghem (winner of the 1972 edition) said "Together with Eddy Merckx, I won all classics races that could be won. I won Paris-Tours, he the rest."[3]

Erik Zabel took his first big victory at Paris–Tours in 1994. He won Paris–Tours again in 2003 and 2005. Jacky Durand, Andrea Tafi, Marc Wauters, Richard Virenque, Erik Dekker and Philippe Gilbert (two times) have all won solo or from a small group, denying sprinters a chance. Virenque had just returned from a drugs ban. He broke away with Durand shortly after the start and stayed away despite Durand's dropping back outside Tours.

The Autumn DoubleEdit

The Autumn Double refers to Paris–Tours and the Giro di Lombardia, considered cycling's most important classics in Autumn, run within a week of each other in October. The races are different – Lombardia is for climbers – making the double difficult. Only four have achieved it in the same year: Belgians Philippe Thys in 1917 and Rik Van Looy in 1959, Dutchman Jo de Roo twice (1962–1963) and Belgian Philippe Gilbert in 2009.


List of winnersEdit

Avenue de Grammont in October, scene of the finish of Paris-Tours until 2010
Rider Team
1896   Eugène Prévost (FRA) individual
1901   Jean Fischer (FRA) individual
1906   Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA) Peugeot
1907   Georges Passerieu (FRA) Peugeot-Wolber
1908   Omer Beaugendre (FRA) Peugeot-Wolber
1909   François Faber (LUX) Alcyon-Dunlop
1910   François Faber (LUX) Alcyon-Dunlop
1911   Octave Lapize (FRA) La Française-Diamant
1912   Louis Heusghem (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1913   Charles Crupelandt (FRA) La Française-Diamant
1914   Oscar Egg (SUI) Peugeot-Lion
1917   Philippe Thys (BEL) Peugeot-Wolber
1918   Charles Mantelet (FRA) individual
1919   Hector Tiberghien (BEL) individual
1920   Eugène Christophe (FRA) individual
1921   Francis Pélissier (FRA) J.B. Louvet
1922   Henri Pélissier (FRA) J.B. Louvet
1923   Paul Deman (BEL) O. Lapize
1924   Louis Mottiat (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1925   Denis Verschueren (BEL) Wonder
1926   Heiri Suter (SUI) Olympique-Wolber
1927   Heiri Suter (SUI) Olympique-Wolber
1928   Denis Verschueren (BEL) J.B. Louvet
1929   Nicolas Frantz (LUX) Alcyon-Dunlop
1930   Jean Maréchal (FRA) Colin-Wolber
1931   André Leducq (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1932   Jules Moineau (FRA) France Sport-Dunlop
1933   Jules Merviel (FRA) Colin-Wolber
1934   Gustave Danneels (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1935   René Le Grèves (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1936   Gustave Danneels (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1937   Gustave Danneels (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1938   Jules Rossi (ITA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1939   Frans Bonduel (BEL) Dilecta-Wolber
1941   Paul Maye (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1942   Paul Maye (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1943   Gabriel Gaudin (FRA) Peugeot-Dunlop
1944   Lucien Teisseire (FRA) France Sport-Dunlop
1945   Paul Maye (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1946   Alberic Schotte (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1947   Alberic Schotte (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1948   Louis Caput (FRA) Olympia-Dunlop
1949   Albrecht Ramon (BEL) Bertin-Wolber
1950   André Mahé (FRA) Stella-Dunlop
1951   Jacques Dupont (FRA) Peugeot-Dunlop
1952   Raymond Guegan (FRA) Gitane
1953   Jozef Schils (BEL) Bianchi-Pirelli
1954   Gilbert Scodeller (FRA) Mercier-BP-Hutchinson
1955   Jacques Dupont (FRA) La Perle-Hutchinson
1956   Albert Bouvet (FRA) Mercier-BP-Hutchinson
1957   Fred De Bruyne (BEL) Carpano-Coppi
1958   Gilbert Desmet (BEL) Faema
1959   Rik Van Looy (BEL) Faema
1960   Jo de Haan (NED) Rapha-Gitane
1961   Joseph Wouters (BEL) Solo-Terrot-Van Steenbergen
1962   Jo de Roo (NED) Saint-Raphael-Helyett-Hutchinson
1963   Jo de Roo (NED) Saint-Raphael-Gitane-Geminiani
1964   Guido Reybroeck (BEL) Flandria-Romeo
1965   Gerben Karstens (NED) Televizier
1966   Guido Reybroeck (BEL) Romeo-Smith's
1967   Rik Van Looy (BEL) Willem II-Gazelle
1968   Guido Reybroeck (BEL) Faema
1969   Herman Van Springel (BEL) Dr.Mann-Grundig
1970   Jürgen Tschan (GER) Peugeot-BP-Michelin
1971   Rik van Linden (BEL) Hertekamp-Magniflex-Novy
1972   Noël Vantyghem (BEL) Novy-Dubble Bubble
1973   Rik van Linden (BEL) Rokado
1974   Francesco Moser (ITA) Filotex
1975   Freddy Maertens (BEL) Flandria-Carpenter
1976   Ronald Dewitte (BEL) Brooklyn
1977   Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Gan-Mercier
1978   Jan Raas (NED) Ti Raleigh
1979   Joop Zoetemelk (NED) Gan-Mercier
1980   Daniel Willems (BEL) IJsboerke - Warncke
1981   Jan Raas (NED) Ti Raleigh
1982   Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke (BEL) La Redoute
1983   Ludo Peeters (BEL) Ti Raleigh
1984   Sean Kelly (IRL) Skil-Sem
1985   Ludo Peeters (BEL) Kwantum Hallen
1986   Phil Anderson (AUS) Panasonic
1987   Adri van der Poel (NED) PDM-Concorde
1988   Peter Pieters (NED) TVM–Van Schilt
1989   Jelle Nijdam (NED) Superconfex–Yoko–Opel–Colnago
1990   Rolf Sørensen (DEN) Ariostea
1991   Johan Capiot (BEL) TVM–Sanyo
1992   Hendrik Redant (BEL) Lotto–Mavic–MBK
1993   Johan Museeuw (BEL) GB–MG Maglificio
1994   Erik Zabel (GER) Team Telekom
1995   Nicola Minali (ITA) Gewiss-Ballan
1996   Nicola Minali (ITA) Gewiss-Playbus
1997   Andrei Tchmil (UKR) Lotto–Mobistar–Isoglass
1998   Jacky Durand (FRA) Casino–Ag2r
1999   Marc Wauters (BEL) Rabobank
2000   Andrea Tafi (ITA) Mapei–Quick-Step
2001   Richard Virenque (FRA) Domo-Farm Frites
2002   Jakob Piil (DEN) CSC–Tiscali
2003   Erik Zabel (GER) Team Telekom
2004   Erik Dekker (NED) Rabobank
2005   Erik Zabel (GER) T-Mobile Team
2006   Frédéric Guesdon (FRA) Française des Jeux
2007   Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) Team Milram
2008   Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Française des Jeux
2009   Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Silence–Lotto
2010   Oscar Freire (ESP) Rabobank
2011   Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing Team
2012   Marco Marcato (ITA) Vacansoleil–DCM
2013   John Degenkolb (GER) Argos–Shimano
2014   Jelle Wallays (BEL) Topsport Vlaanderen–Baloise
2015   Matteo Trentin (ITA) Etixx–Quick-Step
2016   Fernando Gaviria (COL) Etixx–Quick-Step
2017   Matteo Trentin (ITA) Quick-Step Floors
2018   Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN) Team Sunweb

Multiple winnersEdit

Riders in italics are still active

Wins Rider Nationality Editions
3 Gustave Danneels   Belgium 1934 + 1936 + 1937
Paul Maye   France 1941 + 1942 + 1945
Guido Reybrouck   Belgium 1964 + 1966 + 1968
Erik Zabel   Germany 1994 + 2003 + 2005
2 François Faber   Luxembourg 1909 + 1910
Denis Verschueren   Belgium 1925 + 1928
Heiri Suter    Switzerland 1926 + 1927
Briek Schotte   Belgium 1946 + 1947
Jacques Dupont   France 1951 + 1955
Rik Van Looy   Belgium 1959 + 1967
Jo de Roo   Netherlands 1962 + 1963
Rik Van Linden   Belgium 1971 + 1973
Joop Zoetemelk   Netherlands 1977 + 1979
Jan Raas   Netherlands 1978 + 1981
Ludo Peeters   Belgium 1983 + 1985
Nicola Minali   Italy 1995 + 1996
Philippe Gilbert   Belgium 2008 + 2009
Matteo Trentin   Italy 2015 + 2017

Wins per countryEdit

Wins Country
41   Belgium
31   France
12   Netherlands
9   Italy
5   Germany
3   Denmark
1   Australia


In 1917 and 1918 a race was held from Tours–Paris as well as Paris–Tours.

The winners of Tours–Paris were:

Rider Team
1917   Charles Deruyter (BEL)
1918   Philippe Thys (BEL)


  1. ^ "Paris-Tours' last showdown on the Avenue de Grammont". October 10, 2010.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2013-10-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "70 Feitjes over jarige kannibaal Eddy Merckx" (in Dutch). Sportnieuws. 17 June 2015.


External linksEdit