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

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 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 route[edit]

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 53x16 and 53x15, covering 246 km at a record 45.029kmh. 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 riders[edit]

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 Double[edit]

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 winners[edit]

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

Multiple winners[edit]

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 country[edit]

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 Belgium Charles Deruyter (BEL)
1918 Belgium 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 links[edit]