John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) sprinted to victory in the 107th edition of Paris-Tours on Sunday.
Degenkolb took the victory ahead of Michael Morkov (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ).
American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) finished just off the podium in fourth.
Belkin’s Jetse Bol made a bid for victory with 6km to go, only to be caught with just 500 meters remaining, and Degenkolb proved fastest in the finish.
The 235km sprinters’ classic “was really fast and really hectic,” said Degenkolb. “I think I did it pretty smart. I didn’t waste too much energy. I tried to go in the important groups. In the end everything came together.”
Degenkolb praised his teammates for their efforts, and said the victory “means really, really, really a lot for me. I showed that I’m a man for one-day classics. I’m happy and grateful to my team that they supported me in such a great way.”
As for Morkov, he pronounced himself content with a runner-up finish, and like Degenkolb credited his team for its work on his behalf.
“I am very happy with second place, it was a real team effort,” said Morkov. “I felt really good today. I have improved in the big sprints but I don’t consider myself a sprinter.”