Reigning Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) continued his preparations to retain his crown in style at the Criterium International. He took the lead on Saturday’s time trial, and held it on Sunday’s final mountainous stage in impressive fashion.
Stage 1: Porto-Vecchio to Porto-Vecchio, 89.5km
Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Schuller) took the first stage, with the 27-year-old sprinter winning for the second time this season. He won the bunch sprint on the opening flat stage, after a shade over two hours of racing. Danilo Wyss (BMC) was second, with AG2R’s Christophe Riblon rounding off the podium. Continue reading
The Criterium International is a rather bizarre affair, running over the course of the weekend but featuring three stages, with a time trial running alongside a 90km stage on Saturday. It’s quite a popular race, with some of cycling’s biggest names at present competing to win a title won by some of cycling’s biggest names of days gone by.
What kind of race is it?
This year sees the 81st running of the Criterium International, a race won in the past by the likes of Jacques Anquetil, Sean Kelly, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain and Laurent Fignon. However, look at its past winners and you’ll notice that prior to 1979 they were all French – that’s because it was only opened to foreign riders after that date.
Welcome to our preview of what’s happening in the world of road cycling in March. With the Classics season getting under way last weekend with races such as Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and the GP di Lugano, not to mention stage races such as the Tours of Qatar and Oman and the Volta ao Algarve earlier in February, the 2012 season is now in full flow.