Chris Froome wins Criterium International in Impressive SKY One-Two

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Chris Froome, last year’s runner-up in Tour de France behind team-captain Bradley Wiggins, kept his impressive form in Criterium International winning the queen stage of this mini-tour, the mountain-top finish in Col De l’Ospedale.

SKY took the charge as the riders started climbing the Col De l’Ospedale, Vasil Kiryienka putting a great effort and shaking the peloton down to 20 riders. And with 6 kilometers to go, IAM Cycling’s Johann Tschopp escaped and eventually dropped Kiryienka. But it was Chris Froome destroying the field with his solo attack, later followed by Paris-Nice champion Richie Porte, who finished the stage in second place. Despite huge expectations, BMC’s Tejay van Garderen only managed to grab the last podium spot thanks to his time-trial performance in stage 2.

SKY once again dominated the climb and spread fear amongst their rivals as the grand tours are approaching.

“It wasn’t my intention to attack so early on in the climb but Richie sat off a little bit and gave me a gap and no one chased,” Froome said about his attack. “So I pushed on a bit knowing that he could stay protected behind other wheels, which allowed him to attack in the final couple of kilometres himself. So we couldn’t have asked for better”

Final Kilometers

Final General Classification

1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 6:55:23
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 32″
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 54″
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 1′ 00″
5. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 1′ 08″
7. Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1′ 33″
8. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ 1′ 37″
9. Johann Tschopp (Swi) IAM Cycling 1′ 43″
10. John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2′ 05″

Stage 3 Results

1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 4:43:38
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 30″
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 45″
(more…)

Criterium International 2013 Stage 3 Preview

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Featuring six categorized climbs, and ending atop the first-category l’Ospedale summit, Criterium Internatinal’s third and final stage will be the decider of this year’s winner.

Last year, on the same stage, it was Cadel Evans defending his yellow jersey after his Stage 2 TT victory, and in 2011 when it was the opening stage of Criterium International, Frank Schleck won it with a 20 seconds margin.

Team Sky’s Richie Porte and Chris Froome, BMC’s Cadel Evans and Tejay Van Garderen, Garmin-Sharp’s Andrew Talansky and AG2R’s Jean-Christophe Peraud will be the main riders to watch on the l’Ospedale climb.

GC Before Stage 3

1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 2:11:53
2. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1″
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
4. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 2″
5. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 7″
6. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) RadioShack Leopard
8. Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 9″
9. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 11″
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team

Col de l’Ospedale Profile

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Theo Bos Wins Opening Sprint, Richie Porte into Race Lead

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In the first day of the Criterium International, we had 2 back-to-back stages. A 89.5 km sprint stage around Porto-Vecchio early in the morning, and a 7 km time-trial afterwards.

Blanco’s Theo Bos won the bunch sprint of the first stage, where Nacer Bouhanni of FDJ came second and Team Sax0-Tinkoff’s Jonathan Cantwell finished the stage in third place.

In the second event of the day, the 7km flat time-trial, SKY’s Paris-Nice winner Richie Porte was the fastest and grabbed the yellow jersey before the final stage of the race, featuring six categorized climbs, and ending atop the first-category l’Ospedale summit.

“We came in with Froomey as our leader and he’s a great friend, so if he’s got good legs tomorrow and I don’t then I’ll be more than happy to ride for him,” told Porte. “Obviously, I’d like to finish the job off if I can, but as long as Team Sky win tomorrow it’ll be a great day and we’ll all be happy. Right now I just want to enjoy the moment, and the fact that I have one more lion to add to the collection (laughs). I’m really happy on this team and in a really good place.”

Check out Criterium International Stage 3 Preview.

Criterium International, formerly known as Criterium National de la Route is a 2-day race in Corsica, first held in 1932. It was a French-only race before it was open to non-French cyclists in 1979. Emile IdeeRaymond Poulidor and Jens Voigt share the record of most wins with 5 each whereas BMC’s Cadel Evans is the winner of its 2012 edition.

Stage 1 Results

1. Theo Bos (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 2:02:43
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ
3. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
4. Clément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
5. Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
6. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun
7. Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar
8. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
9. Fabien Schmidt (Fra) Sojasun
10. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille

Stage 2 Results

1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 9:10
2. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1″
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
4. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 2″
5. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 7″
6. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) RadioShack Leopard
8. Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 9″
9. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 11″
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team