Race details
Date Mid-October
Region Chevreuse to Loire, France
Competition UCI Europe Tour
Type One-day
Organiser Amaury Sport Organisation
First edition 1896 (1896)
Editions 110 (as of 2016)
First winner  Eugène Prévost (FRA)
Most wins
Most recent  Fernando Gaviria (COL)

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]


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.

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

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

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 Gustaf Daneels (1934, 1936, 1937), Paul Mayé (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. 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

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

Avenue de Grammont in October, scene of the finish of Paris-Tours until 2010
Rider Team
1896 France Prevost, EugeneEugène Prévost (FRA) individual
1901 France Fischer, JeanJean Fischer (FRA) individual
1906 France Petit-Breton, LucienLucien Petit-Breton (FRA) Peugeot
1907 France Passerieu, GeorgesGeorges Passerieu (FRA) Peugeot-Wolber
1908 France Beaugendre, OmerOmer Beaugendre (FRA) Peugeot-Wolber
1909 Luxembourg Faber, FrancoisFrançois Faber (LUX) Alcyon-Dunlop
1910 Luxembourg Faber, FrancoisFrançois Faber (LUX) Alcyon-Dunlop
1911 France Lapize, OctaveOctave Lapize (FRA) La Française-Diamant
1912 Belgium Heusghem, LouisLouis Heusghem (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1913 France Crupelandt, CharlesCharles Crupelandt (FRA) La Française-Diamant
1914 Switzerland Egg, OscarOscar Egg (SUI) Peugeot-Lion
1917 Belgium Thys, PhilippePhilippe Thys (BEL) Peugeot-Wolber
1918 France Mantelet, CharlesCharles Mantelet (FRA) individual
1919 Belgium Tiberghien, HectorHector Tiberghien (BEL) individual
1920 France Christophe, EugeneEugène Christophe (FRA) individual
1921 France Pelissier, FrancisFrancis Pélissier (FRA) J.B. Louvet
1922 France Pelissier, HenriHenri Pélissier (FRA) J.B. Louvet
1923 Belgium Deman, PaulPaul Deman (BEL) O. Lapize
1924 Belgium Mottiat, LouisLouis Mottiat (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1925 Belgium Verschueren, DenisDenis Verschueren (BEL) Wonder
1926 Switzerland Suter, HeiriHeiri Suter (SUI) Olympique-Wolber
1927 Switzerland Suter, HeiriHeiri Suter (SUI) Olympique-Wolber
1928 Belgium Verschueren, DenisDenis Verschueren (BEL) J.B. Louvet
1929 Luxembourg Frantz, NicolasNicolas Frantz (LUX) Alcyon-Dunlop
1930 France Marechal, JeanJean Maréchal (FRA) Colin-Wolber
1931 France Leducq, AndreAndré Leducq (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1932 France Moineau, JulesJules Moineau (FRA) France Sport-Dunlop
1933 France Merviel, JulesJules Merviel (FRA) Colin-Wolber
1934 Belgium Danneels, GustaveGustave Danneels (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1935 France Greves, Rene LeRené Le Grèves (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1936 Belgium Danneels, GustaveGustave Danneels (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1937 Belgium Danneels, GustaveGustave Danneels (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1938 Italy Rossi, JulesJules Rossi (ITA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1939 Belgium Bonduel, FransFrans Bonduel (BEL) Dilecta-Wolber
1941 France Maye, PaulPaul Maye (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1942 France Maye, PaulPaul Maye (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1943 France Gaudin, GabrielGabriel Gaudin (FRA) Peugeot-Dunlop
1944 France Teisseire, LucienLucien Teisseire (FRA) France Sport-Dunlop
1945 France Maye, PaulPaul Maye (FRA) Alcyon-Dunlop
1946 Belgium Schotte, AlbericAlberic Schotte (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1947 Belgium Schotte, AlbericAlberic Schotte (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1948 France Caput, LouisLouis Caput (FRA) Olympia-Dunlop
1949 Belgium Ramon, AlbrechtAlbrecht Ramon (BEL) Bertin-Wolber
1950 France Mahe, AndreAndré Mahé (FRA) Stella-Dunlop
1951 France Dupont, JacquesJacques Dupont (FRA) Peugeot-Dunlop
1952 France Guegan, RaymondRaymond Guegan (FRA) Gitane
1953 Belgium Schils, JosJos Schils (BEL) Bianchi-Pirelli
1954 France Scodeller, GilbertGilbert Scodeller (FRA) Mercier-BP-Hutchinson
1955 France Dupont, JacquesJacques Dupont (FRA) La Perle-Hutchinson
1956 France Bouvet, AlbertAlbert Bouvet (FRA) Mercier-BP-Hutchinson
1957 Belgium Bruyne, Fred DeFred De Bruyne (BEL) Carpano-Coppi
1958 Belgium Desmet, GilbertGilbert Desmet (BEL) Faema
1959 Belgium Looy, Rik VanRik Van Looy (BEL) Faema
1960 Netherlands Haan, Jo deJo de Haan (NED) Rapha-Gitane
1961 Belgium Wouters, JosJos Wouters (BEL) Solo-Terrot-Van Steenbergen
1962 Netherlands Roo, Jo deJo de Roo (NED) Saint-Raphael-Helyett-Hutchinson
1963 Netherlands Roo, Jo deJo de Roo (NED) Saint-Raphael-Gitane-Geminiani
1964 Belgium Reybroeck, GuidoGuido Reybroeck (BEL) Flandria-Romeo
1965 Netherlands Karstens, GerbenGerben Karstens (NED) Televizier
1966 Belgium Reybroeck, GuidoGuido Reybroeck (BEL) Romeo-Smith's
1967 Belgium Looy, Rik vanRik van Looy (BEL) Willem II-Gazelle
1968 Belgium Reybroeck, GuidoGuido Reybroeck (BEL) Faema
1969 Belgium Springel, Herman VanHerman Van Springel (BEL) Dr.Mann-Grundig
1970 Germany Tschan, JurgenJürgen Tschan (GER) Peugeot-BP-Michelin
1971 Belgium Linden, Rik vanRik van Linden (BEL) Hertekamp-Magniflex-Novy
1972 Belgium Vantyghem, NoelNoël Vantyghem (BEL) Novy-Dubble Bubble
1973 Belgium Linden, Rik vanRik van Linden (BEL) Rokado
1974 Italy Moser, FrancescoFrancesco Moser (ITA) Filotex
1975 Belgium Maertens, FreddyFreddy Maertens (BEL) Flandria-Carpenter
1976 Belgium Dewitte, RonaldRonald Dewitte (BEL) Brooklyn
1977 Netherlands Zoetemelk, JoopJoop Zoetemelk (NED) Gan-Mercier
1978 Netherlands Raas, JanJan Raas (NED) Ti Raleigh
1979 Netherlands Zoetemelk, JoopJoop Zoetemelk (NED) Gan-Mercier
1980 Belgium Willems, DanielDaniel Willems (BEL) IJsboerke - Warncke
1981 Netherlands Raas, JanJan Raas (NED) Ti Raleigh
1982 Belgium Vandenbroucke, Jean-LucJean-Luc Vandenbroucke (BEL) La Redoute
1983 Belgium Peeters, LudoLudo Peeters (BEL) Ti Raleigh
1984 Republic of Ireland Kelly, SeanSean Kelly (IRL) Skil-Sem
1985 Belgium Peeters, LudoLudo Peeters (BEL) Kwantum Hallen
1986 Australia Anderson, PhilPhil Anderson (AUS) Panasonic
1987 Netherlands Poel, Adri van derAdri van der Poel (NED) PDM-Concorde
1988 Netherlands Pieters, PeterPeter Pieters (NED) TVM–Van Schilt
1989 Netherlands Nijdam, JelleJelle Nijdam (NED) Superconfex–Yoko–Opel–Colnago
1990 Denmark Sorensen, RolfRolf Sørensen (DEN) Ariostea
1991 Belgium Capiot, JohanJohan Capiot (BEL) TVM–Sanyo
1992 Belgium Redant, HendrikHendrik Redant (BEL) Lotto–Mavic–MBK
1993 Belgium Museeuw, JohanJohan Museeuw (BEL) GB–MG Maglificio
1994 Germany Zabel, ErikErik Zabel (GER) Team Telekom
1995 Italy Minali, NicolaNicola Minali (ITA) Gewiss-Ballan
1996 Italy Minali, NicolaNicola Minali (ITA) Gewiss-Playbus
1997 Ukraine Tchmil, AndreiAndrei Tchmil (UKR) Lotto–Mobistar–Isoglass
1998 France Durand, JackyJacky Durand (FRA) Casino–Ag2r
1999 Belgium Wauters, MarcMarc Wauters (BEL) Rabobank
2000 Italy Tafi, AndreaAndrea Tafi (ITA) Mapei–Quick-Step
2001 France Virenque, RichardRichard Virenque (FRA) Domo-Farm Frites
2002 Denmark Piil, JakobJakob Piil (DEN) CSC–Tiscali
2003 Germany Zabel, ErikErik Zabel (GER) Team Telekom
2004 Netherlands Dekker, ErikErik Dekker (NED) Rabobank
2005 Germany Zabel, ErikErik Zabel (GER) T-Mobile Team
2006 France Guesdon, FredericFrédéric Guesdon (FRA) Française des Jeux
2007 Italy Petacchi, AlessandroAlessandro Petacchi (ITA) Team Milram
2008 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Française des Jeux
2009 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Silence–Lotto
2010 Spain Freire, OscarOscar Freire (ESP) Rabobank
2011 Belgium Van Avermaet, GregGreg Van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing Team
2012 Italy Marcato, MarcoMarco Marcato (ITA) Vacansoleil–DCM
2013 Germany Degenkolb, JohnJohn Degenkolb (GER) Argos–Shimano
2014 Belgium Wallays, JelleJelle Wallays (BEL) Topsport Vlaanderen–Baloise
2015 Italy Trentin, MatteoMatteo Trentin (ITA) Etixx–Quick-Step
2016 Colombia Gaviria, FernandoFernando Gaviria (COL) Etixx–Quick-Step

Multiple winners

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

Winners by Nationality

# of Victories Country
41  Belgium
31  France
12  Netherlands
8  Italy
5  Germany
3  Luxembourg
3   Switzerland
2  Denmark
1  Ireland
1  Australia
1  Ukraine
1  Spain
1  Colombia


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 Deruyter, CharlesCharles Deruyter (BEL)
1918 Belgium Thys, PhilippePhilippe Thys (BEL)



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