We bring the curtain down on our European season at Paris-Tours (217km) in a race that should once again see the parcours favour the Classics specialists.

The race will include nine sectors totaling 10.7km of “vineyard tracks” while there are no less than seven climbs in the final 50km.

Søren Kragh Andersen is the defending champion having seen off Niki Terpstra and Benoit Cosnefroy in 2018.

Our line-up features a final start for the retiring Lars Bak who brings the curtain down on a stellar career which has spanned all of two decades. His teammates presented him with a cake on the eve of the race to pay tribute to him and the contribution he’s made to the sport.

The Dane will be surrounded by huge amounts of experience on the day, including sprint star Mark Cavendish who will be alongside the evergreen Bernie Eisel.

They’ll be ably supported by Julien Vermote and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, the latter was our top finisher in the 2018 edition. Our line-up is completed by young Alexander Konychev, the trainee who’s impressed having been a key member of our Continental team.

Quote- Lars Bak

I made this decision public at the end of the Tour de France, so I have had enough time to reflect even though there were still races to do. 

I am very motivated for Paris- Elite and to end my career on a high note. During the week, I went down memory lane, looking back on all the things I have achieved in my career. I have had so many messages from people, from the start of my career to now… Just reminding me of my whole career. 

I have had 18 great years but nothing lasts forever. I know it is the right decision. … I think I have done my duty. I’ve left all my energy and power on the road. And now I want to do it one last time on Sunday. I hope I can ride a good race. It is going to be special. 

The wind will always affect the race and I know last year they included these gravel stone roads, so there were a lot of punctures. I punctured on the first section last year, and my race was pretty over. Even though I finished the race, I couldn’t make it back it back to the front. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen this year, and I can have a good race.