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Fränk Schleck (Team Leopard-Trek) wins the Critérium International 2011

Added: sunday 27 March 2011 at 18:18:00
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    Fränk Schleck (Team Leopard-Trek) wins the Critérium International 2011After his victory on top of the Col de l'Ospedale yesterday, Fränk Schleck (Team Leopard-Trek) had good chances of winning the Critérium International 2011 today. Indeed, his first challenger was at 20 seconds so only a breakaway in the second stage or a big gap in the individual time trial could take the yellow jersey away from him in Corsica.

    This wasn't however the case and the second stage was won in a bunch sprint by Simon Geschke (Skil-Shimano) while Fränk Schleck lost only 24 seconds on the winner Andreas Klöden (Team Radioshack) and 7 on Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar Team) in the time trial.

    The summary of the second day of the Critérium International 2011

    The second stage - Porto-Vecchio > Porto-Vecchio - 75 km

    This morning the riders participating in the Critérium International 2011 probably didn't appreciate the daylight saving time because this probably led to a short night because the short stage (75 km) with a double loop around Porto-Vecchio started at 9.00AM.

    Simon GeschkeDespite the early start, a leading group was formed quite quickly around Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Rémy di Gregorio (Astana), Yukihiro Doi (Skil-Shimano), Renaud Dion (Bretagne-Schuller) and Fabrice Jeandesboz (Saur-Sojasun). Their gap never went up very high. The peloton shows a 50 seconds delay on top of the only climb of this stage (or of the day if you prefer ;-) and due to the hard work of Team Leopard-Trek for its leader Fränk Schleck and Garmin-Cervélo it continues to go down while approaching the finish line.

    The 20 remaining seconds at 10 kilometers from the finish turn out not to be enough for the escaped riders to continue till the end while a last attempt by Fabrice Jeandesboz with a solo attack also fails at 3 kilometers from the finish. Just like last year this stage thus ended in a bunch sprint and Simon Geschke (Skil-Shimano) turns out to be the fastest, ahead of Murilo Fischer (Team Garmin-Cervélo) and Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun).

    The third stage - Porto-Vecchio > Porto-Vecchio - individual time trial - 7,8 km

    This afternoon the third part of the Critérium International was a 7.8 kilometer long individual time trial on a completely flat route around Porto-Vecchio.

    In this time trial Alex Dowsett was the first to put up a reference time at 9 minutes and 15 seconds and we had to wait for another 33 riders and thus a little bit over half an hour before the best time was taken over for 2 seconds by Dimitri Champion (AG2R La Mondiale). Despite that, the young English rider indicated on Twitter that he received an education in time trialling this afternoon.

    Andreas KlödenWout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) took away an additional second from that time before David Zabriskie showed he was the first real time trial specialist to cross the finish line. The American rider of the Garmin-Cervélo team realised a time of 9 minutes and thus improved the best time with 12 seconds.

    Not for long time however because the real specialist seemed to be Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) who took off another 10 seconds. He didn't however count on Andreas Klöden (Team Radioshack) who surprisingly took off even 4 more seconds of the best time and thus won this time trial in 8'46"79.

    Fränk Schleck finished this time trial with a very good time as well, at the 12th place, 24 seconds behind Klöden. His first challenger, Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar Team), finished in 9'03", 7 seconds faster than Schleck and thus not enough to take away the yellow jersey from the rider from Luxembourg.

    With a 13 seconds gap, Fränk Schleck thus became the first rider from Luxembourg ever to win the Critérium International.

    As I said yesterday, Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) kept the polka dot jersey for the King of the Mountains classification while the points classification was also won by Fränk Schleck (with 15 points on an equal score with Simon Geschke) and the white jersey for best young rider stayed on the shoulders of Rein Taaramae (Cofidis, le crédit en ligne).

    Fränk Schleck's comments

    Fränk SchleckBefore the start of the time trial, Fränk Schleck said to be confident in his overall win but once he really knew he'd keep the yellow jersey, the rider of Team Leopard-Trek declared: you never know when you have a bad day or bad luck. I'm not a time trial specialist but I just realised a good time trial so I'm happy.

    Concerning his overall victory in this 80th edition of the Critérium International, Schleck again mentioned Jens Voigt: some riders have already won it 5 times, but ... I still have some time!

    With the neam Team Leopard-Trek we're very proud to win here. The Critérium is a real team race. We had the big Jens in our team who knows how to win the Critérium International

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Currently 1 comments!
  1. bravo pour ton excellent travail thomas.

    la première étape a donné lieu a une belle bagarre (pas comme l'année dernière où le vent contraire dans l'ascension finale avait completement bloqué la course), ASO a trouvé en corse du sud un très beau décor pour son epreuve.

    | oliv56 | monday 28 March 2011 at 0:18:18

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