How The Race Was Won – Paris-Tours 2009

Oct 13 2009

Can radios be ruining cycling if the *real* Sprinters’ Classic goes to a rouleur for the second straight year? QuickStep shoulders the chasing load, while in the break, a Skil-Shimano rider sees too much soft-pedaling and makes the leap for freedom. But it’s all together with 8k to go as a very unlikely group threatens to force the selection.

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Also available on YouTube.

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8 Responses to “How The Race Was Won – Paris-Tours 2009”

  1. Sebastian October 13, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    It’s interesting how even Paris-Tours often fails to be the real sprinter’s classic — Durand, Virenque, Piil, Dekker, Guesdon . . . My sense is that, because it’s so late in the season, it finds most of the teams tired and less well-drilled than they would be in March. Indeed, at this point in the year the Cipressa and the Poggio would probably end up making a definitive selection the way they rarely do in their current time-slot.

  2. Jack Daniels October 13, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    Good to see another HTRWW video.

    I live in Romania and the only channel which broadcasts cycling is Eurosport. Anyway, our romanian commentators are pretty bad, they make a lot of confusions and I usually watch it with english commentary, although Sean Kelly’s english isn’t very helpful either. Anyway, at 8km to go, the romanian guys said it was Gilbert who attacked, followed by Boonen and Van Avermaet, but it seems that wasn’t the case. Thanks cosmo for clearing that up.

  3. henkio October 13, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    With only 3 out of the last 13 editions won in a bunch sprint this is not THE sprinters classic. (San Remo is 9/13, Wevelgem 5/13)

  4. cosmo October 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    @henkio: very good point. I didn’t make the nickname, though. It was there when I got here. Perhaps its reputation as a sprinters’ race—or, as Sebastian suggests, tired legs and second-tier riders—may be dooming the ability of sprinters’ squads to keep the race in hand.

    Dan Lloyd seems to think things might have worked out differently if a crash in the closing Ks hadn’t slowed up the chase. I only saw the tail end of the field held up, so I didn’t mention it in the video, and didn’t read his interview until after I’d published it.

    @Jack Daniels: Whit Yost, who I’m pretty sure knows more about cycling than I do, was also confused about which Silence-Lotto guy kicked off the race-winning move.

  5. Bret Moss October 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm #

    Looking at the footage at the 5:20 mark

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IihT3rF4Y8

    To me it looks like Boonen is pedaling squares as compared to the other two. This may be his form but it looks like he is working harder than the other two to keep up.

    Also at the 1k sprint to the finish Boonen may have closed the gap but to me it looks like Gilbert has another gear if Boonen would have really been a threat Gilbert would have launched another unmatchable surge.

    From my vantage point Gilbert looked fresher at the end and was in total control.

    One onther comment watching the three work toghter I think Gilbert does a good job at putting mini surges into the other two, never letting them relax.

  6. henkio October 14, 2009 at 5:31 am #

    I guess we are all right :)

    Put this race in march and you’ll have 10/10 sprint finishes. The fall in the bunch probably just gave the edge to the escape group.

  7. neal October 15, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    Great vid! Thanks for the effort and insight.

  8. Bert Sevenhant April 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    I just saw the video for the first time and reading these comments about the gear: it might be nice extra information from a post-race interview.
    Gilbert told he deduced from the weatherforecast day before the race that the would have wind blowing in their favour in the last straightline and asked the mechanic to set in his bike a bigger gear to be able to sprint from further, which he actually did.
    So his brilliant move, which you analysed so nicely was planned.

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