Paris-Tours is a little out of place among the other late season classics, but that's OK—we can always argue about what it's nicknamed. Fairly tame for the most of it, with increasing nerves and risk-taking until it exploded into the recognizable split-and-chase racing of a classic. Some people were into it, some were hesitant, but in truly exciting fashion, the winner and style of finish were never certain until the closing seconds.
You know they tried to change the name of this thing to "Il Lombardia"? Well that's just not how I roll. I might have liked a little more coverage before the long, theatrical escape that defined much of the run-in to the final, but the favorites still came out to play over the Salita di Ello climb, and there were a few antics of note outside the tactical moments. Still, the race organizers have shown a willingness to alter the course in the past—a little less space between the final two climbs might spice things up a bit.
Sometimes being strong and controlling the field can be a bad thing, though, granted—anytime you take the line against Marianne Vos, it's going to be an uphill battle. A surprising turn of strength from the Italians, a scary mishap, and great supporting work all-around make for an elegant arrival at a somewhat predictable conclusion.
Arguably the least-well known WorldTour race, this one-day circuit has a fairly rich history, and a habit of turning out winners who might not have gotten the spotlight they'd like. Sure, it still falls into the long break/final climb/final sprint mode, but steady attacks throughout the closing 50 kilometers keep the action interesting.