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And now it's 5 at the Critérium International for Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank)

Added: sunday 29 March 2009 at 22:31:00
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    And now it's 5 at the Critérium International for Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank)The Criterium International took place around Charleville-Mézières in the Ardennes this weekend. Three stages in two days as usual formed a very complete race: one flat stage on Saturday, a medium mountain stage on Sunday morning and a time trial on Sunday afternoon.

    Winner of the Critérium International in 2008 and the year before, the German rider Jens Voigt of the Team Saxo Bank wins this race for the fifth time: 1999, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009!

    He also wins the green jersey and the polka dot jersey for best climber and his team Team Saxo Bank was the best team. The white jersey for best young rider goes to the French rider Jérôme Coppel of Française des Jeux.
    Arnaud Coyot

    Jimmy Casper continues his good start of the season and wins the first stage

    The 190 kilometers long stage between Monthois and Charleville-Mézières yesterday was the playfield of mainly 4 riders. At kilometer 16 already, Christophe Kern (Cofidis) attacked and he was followed by Arnaud Coyot (photo, Caisse d'Epargne), Timothy Duggan (Garmin Slipstream) and David Lelay (Agritubel).
    At kilometer 50 this leading group reached its maximum gap of 9'35", just before the climb of Stonne where Duggan arrived first, before Lelay, Kern and Coyot. The first sprint, in Le Chesne, was won by Arnaud Coyot before Christophe Kern and David Lelay. At that time the 4 riders still had a gap of 7'35".
    The second sprint, in Rethel, was won by Kern, before Coyot and Lelay while the gap has dropped to 4 minutes. In the sprint of Lalobbe it's again Arnaud Coyot who crosses the line first, before Kern and Lelay; Duggan was not able to follow them and is already 12 seconds behind at that place. The peloton follows at 2'20".
    In the climb of the Côte de Signy-l'Abbaye Lelay arrives first on top, followed by Kern and Coyot. Duggan is 1'30 behind already and the peloton is at 40 seconds behind him. The last climb is the Côte de Barbe-en-Croc where David Lelay arrives first on top with a few seconds lead on Kern and Coyot and only 20 seconds on the peloton.David Lelay In the descent Kern and Coyot are taken back by the peloton while David Lelay (photo) does everything to stay ahead but is finally taken back as well at about 10 kilometers before the finish.

    The stage finishes in a sprint in Charleville-Mézières where Jimmy Casper (Besson Chaussures-Sojasun) wins the stage before Yauheni Hutarovich (Française des Jeux) and Cyril Lemoine (Skil Shimano). Casper thus gets his third stage victory for Stéphane Heulot's team since the start of the season (after the two stages he won in the Etoile de Bessèges). After the stage he thanked Christian Prudhomme because if he wouldn't have invited us, I wouldn't have won here (duh ... are you sure?! ;-) and his team mates Yannick Talabardon, Laurent Mangel and Jimmy Engoulvent who prepared the sprint for him.

    Jens Voigt wins the second stage and takes the yellow jersey

    While he had to leave the stage victory to Simon Gerrans last year, Jens Voigt won the second stage this year while also taking the yellow jersey he wanted so badly.
    An early start this morning at 8.30AM: in the first meters of the stage between Les Vieilles Forges (Les Mazures) and Monthermé (98,5 km, the same stage as last year) Rémi di Grégorio (Française des Jeux) was the first rider to attack and he reached the top of the Côte des Vieilles Forges in a solo with an 18 seconds lead on the peloton. Jens VoigtIn the descent he got company from Jens Voigt (photo, Saxo Bank), Clément Lhotellerie (Vacansoleil), Alan Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Daniel Navarro (Astana).
    On the top of the Côte du Mont Malgré Tout Jens Voigt took the points for the polka dot jersey before Lhotellerie and Di Grégorio. The leading group has a 30 seconds lead on the peloton at that time. After the next climb, the Côte de Blossette, Di Grégorio starts the descent first, before Navarro and Voigt while on the Col du Loup it's up to Voigt again before Di Grégorio and Navarro. Their lead is 1'20" there. They arrive in the same order on the Côte des Perrières with a 1'05" lead on the peloton.
    In the climb of the Côte de Meillier-Fontaine, Jens Voigt decides to accellerate and Clément Lhotellerie can no longer follow. Di Grégorio comes over the top before Voigt and Navarro with Lhotellerie at 40 seconds. The peloton is than still 35 seconds behind Lhotellerie but he's taken back in the descent.
    On the top of the Côte du Bois de l'Or the order in which they come over the top is the same and Voigt decides to accellerate again, thus losing Di Grégorio. The peloton takes him back at kilometer 69 and is only 28 seconds behind Voigt and Navarro.
    Jérôme Coppel (Française des Jeux) starts the pursuit and on the second crossing of the top of the Côte du Mont Malgré Tout Voigt arrives before Navarro with Coppel at 20 seconds and the peloton at 25. In the descent the leading two riders try to make the gap a bit bigger and they succeed with Coppel at 35" and the peloton at 45".
    Than it's up to the 2007 French champion, Christophe Moreau (Agritubel) to start the pursuit.
    At 10 kilometer from the finish he's 23 seconds behind the two leaders together with Coppel and 32 seconds ahead of the peloton. Voigt and Navarro do what they can to stay ahead and at 5 kilometers from the finish they still have a 28 seconds lead on Coppel and Moreau and 38 seconds on the peloton.
    Coppel and Moreau are taken back by the peloton at 3 kilometers from the finish, just before Jens Voigt accellerates once more to get rid of Navarro.
    Danny Pate (Garmin Slipstream) passes Navarro when he gets out of the peloton but doesn't manage to take back Voigt.
    Jens Voigt thus wins the stage and takes the yellow jersey.
    Kim Andersen
    With this win, Jens Voigt thus becomes the new leader but the gap between him and the other riders is very small: 7 seconds ahead of Danny Pate, 8 seconds of Cyril Lemoine and 9 seconds of Romain Feillu and Jérôme Coppel.

    His directeur sportif, Kim Andersen (photo), said about this stage: Jens was ahead for almost 100 kilometers and the other riders of the leading group were not strong enough to create a big gap. Seven seconds might not be enough with the time trial this afternoon. I therefore won't be disappointed if he doesn't win the Critérium International after his huge effort this morning.Tony Martin

    After the polka dot jersey in Paris-Nice, Tony Martin (photo) wins the time trial of the Critérium International

    With the start in the Rue de Flandre and the finish on the Place Ducale in Charleville-Mézières, the time trial for this afternoon was short, with a distance of only 8,3 kilometers.

    This distance was similar to the one of a prologue of for example the Tour de France and Laurent Jalabert thus thought about this, saying that for these kind of stages you should start fast, accellerate after the first half and finish full power and that's exactly what the young German rider Tony Martin (Columbia High Road) did.

    He finished the 8,3 kilometers in 10 minutes and 5 seconds, 6 seconds faster than the time trial specialist Bradley Wiggins.

    Jens Voigt finished fifth in this time trial, at 18 seconds behind Martin and 10 seconds behind the number three of this last stage, Frantisek Rabon (Columbia High Road).

    The general ranking

    After three stages we can easily say that it was exciting till the end because even now the time differences are very small:
    1/ Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank) - 7h 23' 00"
    2/ Frantisek Rabon (Team Columbia High Road) - + 00' 02"
    3/ Danny Pate (Garmin Slipstream) - + 00' 09"
    4/ Maxime Monfort (Team Columbia High Road) - + 00' 12"
    5/ Cyril Lemoine (Skil-Shimano) - + 00' 18"

    The secret recipe?

    Jens Voigt today won the Critérium International for the fifth time and said to be very happy with this victory. He apparently doesn't want to stop there because he also said: after this fifth victory I believe I now have found the recipe for this race. We'll see each other again next year.

    When he won the race for the fourth time in 2008, he just had his fourth child and in 2009 he already has 5 children. Laurent Jalabert thus suggested he would stop here because it might become quite expensive if each victory of the Critérium International means he has to feed yet another child!

    Only Raymond Poulidor won the Critérium International five times as well.

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Currently 3 comments!
  1. Goedmorgen Thomas,

    Als enthousiast lezer van jouw berichten vraag ik je het volgende:

    Ik wil graag de hoogteprofielen van de touretappes van dit jaar hebben. Hoe kom ik daaraan? Ik wil ze wel betalen.

    Bedankt voor de moeite, Met vriendelijke groeten,

    Henk Scholten (de fietsende landmeter uit Beuningen (O))

    | Henk Scholten | monday 30 March 2009 at 11:43:53

  2. titre : \\\"And now it\\\'s 5 at the Critérium International for Jens Voigt (Columbia High Road)\\\"

    Jens Voigt est chez Saxo Bank...;) Je sais que les Columbia gagnent tout, mais quand même :)

    | François-Xavier DUC | monday 13 April 2009 at 16:54:09

  3. NL @Henk, wat betreft de hoogteprofielen: bent u op zoek naar zoiets als wat A.S.O. op de website van de Tour heeft staan voor de bergetappes (deze bijvoorbeeld) ?
    Mocht u iets preciezers zoeken, dan is wellicht de site salite.ch iets voor u? Met de namen van de bergen die genoemd staan in mijn artikel over het parcours van de Tour de France 2009 komt u dan waarschijnlijk een heel eind!

    FR @FX : shame on me .. surtout qu'on le voit même sur la photo que j'ai mis en illustration de cet article (prise sur un contre-la-montre pendant le Tour 2008) !! Heureusement il y en a encore qui font attention, merci :-). C'est donc maintenant corrigé !

    Au fait, tu lis mon blog en English ?

    | Thomas Vergouwen | monday 13 April 2009 at 17:31:26

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