Etixx-Quick Step have announced their line-up for Paris-Tours this weekend and the team features last year’s winner Matteo Trentin.
Trentin triumphed here after completing the race at an average speed of 49.642 km/h, which earned him the yellow ribbon, the trophy created back in 1936, which rewards the rider who sets the fastest average speed in a race which exceeds 200 kilometres.
The Italian, a stage winner in 2016 at the Giro, Tour de Wallonie and Tour de l’Ain, will be just one of a number of options for the Belgian team in the race.
Tom Boonen, who came close of winning the race a few years ago, Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria, Nikolas Maes, double Vuelta a España stage victor Gianni Meersman, Tour de Suisse points jersey winner Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini and Binche-Chimay-Binche runner-up Zdenek Stybar will also line up in the race which is a dress rehearsal for the World Championships in Qatar.
Starting from Dreux, the 110th Paris-Tours won’t be a mere procession on the roads of Beauce, as the distance the peloton will have to cover (252.5 kilometres) and the wind can break up the pack long before the race will conclude on the iconic Avenue de Grammont, once the longest finishing straight in the cycling world.
The beauty of Paris-Tours, a race as old as Paris-Roubaix, resides in the fact that the victories have been split throughout the years between sprinters and attackers, with the latter succeeding after foiling the peloton’s plans even though the course was a flat one.