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

Sagan wins Stage, Nibali in Maglia Azzurra!

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Despite the quite strong 16-rider early breakaway today, SKY and Cannondale worked in the front all day long and as the riders approached Muro di Sant’Elpidio for the last time, whatever was left from the break finally got erased. Last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali attacked on the technical descent followed by Peter Sagan, and later joined by Stage 5 winner Joaquim Rodriguez and formed a very strong late break.

Alberto Contador as well attacked on the descent but got stuck in the chasing group. Race leader Chris Froome, losing all his SKY lieutenants, found sanctuary by catching Cadel Evans‘ group. SKY now owes Thor Hushovd a big “thank you” for his efforts in the final kilometers.

The leading trio entered the final kilometers with more than 30 seconds ahead of Contador’s group and it came to a sprint finish between them to decide the winner. Sagan easily blasted home to grab his second win in this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico.

“In the breakaway were too many riders. Sky was on the front all of the race. When I felt good to make a good stage, I told my riders t to bring back Cunego and the other riders in the breakaway,” told Sagan. “Anyway, I am very happy. Vincenzo did a very good attack on the climb and afterwards on the descent, then we did the last climb also with Joaquim who came on the front. From there it was only ten kilometres to the finish – I am very happy.”

Vincenzo Nibali took the race leader’s jersey from overnight leader Chris Froome and will wear the blue jersey – Maglia Azzurra in the penultimate time-trial.

GC after Stage 6

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astan a Pro Team 27:57:26
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 34″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 37″
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 48″
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 58″
6. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard 1′ 05″
7. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 1′ 20″
8. Pryzemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 2′ 54″
9. Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 2′ 58″
10. Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM 3′ 08″

Stage 6 Results

1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 5:45:17
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 2″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
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Froome wins Prati di Tivo, Kwiatkowski stepped into Maglia Azzurra

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SKY proved once again how strong their team is, it was BMC that led the peloton to the footsteps of Prati Di Tivo, then SKY took the lead with Sergio HenaoDario Cataldo and Rigoberto Uran respectively to carry their leader Chris Froome to the top; ignoring the attacks from Alberto Contador only by keeping their pace high.

We saw Cadel Evans and Joaquim Rodriguez losing contact with the front group; and just before the final kilometers, it was down to 7 riders. Froome, with 1 kilometer to go, made the attack no one could respond to and won the queen stage of this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico.

“I’m really happy with that victory, it was a really good day for us,” told Froome. “I only ended up doing a kilometer in the wind myself. It really was an armchair ride. My team did great work. They all helped me to be up there in the finale and fresher than everyone else.”

Michal Kwiatkowski of Omega Pharma-QuickStep, despite finishing the stage in 4th place, thanks to OPQ’s astonishing TTT in the first stage, now sits on top of GC. Another OPQ rider, Mark Cavendish still leads the points classification and will wear the red jersey.

GC after Stage 4

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 16:04:59
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 4″
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 16″
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 30″
5. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 33″
6. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard 40″
7. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 55″
8. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team 1′ 04″
9. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1′ 16″
10. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha

Stage 4 Results

1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 04:41:31
2. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 6″
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 11″
(more…)

OPQ wins TTT – Cavendish became the first leader

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Omega Pharma Quick-Step was the fastest team in the Tirreno-Adriatico opener and they put Mark Cavendish into the overall lead. They were down to 5 riders for the final kilometers, but thanks to German powerhouse Tony Martin, OPQ finished 11 seconds ahead of Movistar and 16″ away from BMC.

Amongst the pre-race favorites, Cadel Evans has now 4 seconds margin over last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali, 9″ over Chris Froome and 13″ over Alberto Contador. “The differences are important, we lost 16 seconds with BMC and also lost time to Astana and Sky, who are direct rivals, but we cannot think that this is definitive. It is true that these races are won or lost by a few seconds, but well, this is just beginning,” told Contador after the stage.

Results

1. Omega Pharma-Quick Step 19′ 24″
2. Movistar Team 11″
3. BMC Racing Team 16″
(more…)

Tirreno-Adriatico – A Brief History

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Tirreno-Adriatico, “the race of the two seas” is an early season stage race held in Italy and widely regarded as a Milan-San Remo preparation. Now a 2.HC race in the UCI World Tour, it traditionally starts from the west coast of Italy – the Tyrrhenian Sea and ends in the east coast, in the seaside resort of Adriatic Coast, San Benedetto del Tronto since the second edition of the race.

With its first edition dating back to 1966, the Belgium cyclist Roger De Vlaeminck holds the record by winning the race 6 times in a row between ’72 and ’77. Most recently Cadel Evans, Vincenzo Nibali, Michele Scarponi and Fabian Cancellara each clinched a title.