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The classic Paris-Gien-Bourges is back with a nice bonus tray

It is no coincidence that in cycling these one-day races that return every year are called classics. They slide into the calendar at the same time they are embracing an area. We notice it as an indestructible statue located in the center of the village square. Thus, the feeling that we have always lived and that the future cannot be written without them shines through.

However, 2020, its health crisis and its economic repercussions have shattered much of the certainty. This damned epidemic has gone so far as to make us revise our classics by upsetting our firm convictions. And last year, when the Paris-Gien-Bourges club was cancelled, we understood how much we missed her.

How to get around and where to stop before and during the Paris-Gien-Bourges Cycling Race [carte]

How then do you not go with an ear-to-ear grin on Jane’s victory on Thursday morning. These are the same ears that will find Madeleine de Prost from 11:15 a.m. when Daniel Mangias picks up one by one the names and winners of the riders lined up for 70th Paris Jean Bourget.

It is also not impossible that this streak could be a little longer than in previous years. It’s not that the former speaker of the round has put his grades poorly – he’s mastered the tiptoe exercise. But the proportions of participants weigh, this year, heavier than during the pre-pandemic editions.

Marc Sarro is not defending his title but there are many contenders

It’s also hard to know where to start and who to start with. Perhaps by Arnaud Demare, his three Tour de France titles, his four stages in the Giro, his Tour de France success, and his victory at Milan-San Remo? Or by Jasper Steuven, winner of the same race in March under the nose and beard of Van Arte, Van der Poel and others from Alaphilippe?

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When a cyclist is in recovery, he tends to do things smoothly. Small board, big gear, wrap legs and shape back. On the contrary, on a big plateau and with a hell of a gear, the only professional race to reach Cher marks his return to the cycling calendar, still an initiative of Union Bourges Cher Cyclisme and its boss, Laurent Planchon. If Berry rider Mark Sarro, the defending champion after his brisk victory two years ago, misses due to injury, there will be many contenders to replace him. And like every year, they should be sought in the runner class.

This race almost always happens in a sprint, and there are eight out of ten chances of it happening this way. The difficulties are concentrated in Sancerre. After the bumps, the time is long enough to reach the finish line, which favors the sprint scenario.

“This race almost always happens in a sprint, and there are eight out of ten chances of it happening that way,” explains Frank Pino, Groupama-FDJ’s sporting director, who knows the venue perfectly since he was born in Borg. The difficulties are concentrated in Sancerre. After the bumps, the time is long enough to reach the finish line, which favors the sprint scenario. “

In fact, editions that did not have a huge reach are rarely published. And even in 2018, when young Valentin Maduas triumphed after a daring attack, he had already, on the Boulevard de la République, runners Bryan Coquard and Christophe Laporte back to him like bombs. Two boys will also be at the start on Thursday morning. They also missed the classic.

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Antonin Besson