Race report

Team Sunweb make it 1-3 at Paris-Tours with Casper Pedersen and Joris Nieuwenhuis

Paris-Tours Elite

Team Sunweb’s superb winning run continued today at Paris-Tours, with Casper Pedersen storming to victory after winning a two-up sprint in the race finale, and Joris Nieuwenhuis rounding out the podium in third.

Today’s racing at Paris-Tours began under raining skies, with the overcast conditions set to stay for the rest of the day, only adding to the difficulty of the race. With a predominantly flat route until the final 50 kilometres where the hills and gravel roads started, the team took control at the head of the race after the morning breakaway had formed.

With the aim of heading into the finale with Søren Kragh Andersen, Joris Nieuwenhuis and Casper Pedersen all to the fore, Leon Heinschke, Martin Salmon and Niklas Märkl did well to keep the breakaway in check and ultimately bring them to within touching distance. Unfortunately, Kragh Andersen was involved in a crash just as the peloton hit the climbs, and would no longer feature at the front of the race. On one of the many short ramps, Pedersen rode strongly to follow a move by Consefroy and the duo broke clear of the ever diminishing peloton.

The duo forged on, with Nieuwenhuis riding well to cover the attacks, himself riding well to make a counter attacking group of five. With 15 kilometres to go the gap between Pedersen’s and Nieuewenhuis’ groups stood at 25 seconds, with Nieuwenhuis acting as the perfect anchor.

As a result, the chase group weren’t able to close down on Pedersen and Cosnefroy, setting up an intense two-up sprint in the finale. Using his lead out and track skills, Pedersen took the sprint on from the front, kicking expertly in the closing few hundred metres to take a magnificent win. Behind, Nieuwenhuis rounded out a brilliant day by claiming an excellent third place after some great team tactics.

“Today went as planned from the beginning almost,” explained an elated Pedersen at the finish. “We wanted a group to go but without AG2R and FDJ so that we weren’t forced to chase alone, which is exactly what happened. Six guys went away and we had Martin pulling on the front so that we could sit towards the front of the peloton. Coming into the gravel sections and climbs in the finale we were in a good position. Søren was one or two positions behind me and there was a squeeze in the bunch and unfortunately Søren crashed there. All we could do was to stay in the front and go away with the groups. I went in a counter attack with Cosnefroy and a few others. As we caught the breakaway Cosnefroy went full gas on the attack and I managed to bridge across to him over the top of the climb and we got away. From there we went all-in to keep the chasers behind us. I’ve been racing against him since U23 so I knew him and knew that if I could go with him over the hills it was a good situation. I invested a lot into pulling as we believed I could win the sprint against him if I was able to follow him on the climbs. Luckily that was exactly what happened and I’m really happy to take the win.”

Team Sunweb coach Michiel Elijzen added: “It was a good team effort today where the young guns rode well and supported the Tour de France guys until the moment we started the gravel sections. Søren unfortunately crashed just before the sections started but Casper and Jasper took over in a really strong way. Casper ended up going into the final with Cosnefroy and Joris was in the chasing group behind which was a good situation for us. Casper did a really nice effort in the finish to win the sprint and take the race, with Joris rounding out a great day for us in third.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 PEDERSEN Casper Team Sunweb 4:51:44 200
2 COSNEFROY Benoît AG2R La Mondiale ,, 150
3 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team Sunweb 0:30 125
71 MÄRKL Niklas Team Sunweb 7:28 -
101 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team Sunweb 9:25 -
115 HEINSCHKE Leon Team Sunweb 18:35 -
DNF SALMON Martin Team Sunweb - -