In using an already proven strategy in 2007, Jens Voigt took his fourth victory, becoming the most successful rider on the event since it became International in 1978. Winner in 1999, 2004 and 2007 and now in 2008, the German now joins Jacques Anquetil, who won the “Critérium national de la route” on four occasions. Riding cautiously on the slick streets of the time trial, Voigt finished a distant 43rd to the stage winner and Norwegian national time trial champion Edvald Boasson Hagen who claimed his first victory of 2008.
At this stage of the season, one can already witness the men in shape. After the beginning of the spring classics and the European stage races, a one-of-a-kind event is now offered to the World elite with the "road triptyque" that will be held at Charleville-Mézières on the 29th and 30th of March. Only the all-round riders can hope to add their name to the winners list but the three extremely specific stages will allow several profiles to show their potential during the weekend. On the normal flat stage that traditionally ends up in a bunched sprint, riders like Ciolek (THR), Casper (AGR) or Dean (TSL) will be carefully watched but history proves that victory can also go to an escapee.
In 2007, i twas on the hill stage that Jens Voigt (CSC) had set the way to his third triumph in the event. To manage a fourth success, the German will have to be at least as inspired and strong as last year. He will indeed have to keep an eye out and control men like Damiano Cunego (LAM), Alejandro Valverde (GCE), Sandy Casar (FDJ) or the likes of Alexandre Botcharov (C.A).
The very slim gaps can sometimes offer last minute upsets during the third stage, a time-trial in the streets of Charleville-Mézières: the most efficient riders like David Millar, Dave Zabriskie (TSL) or Bobby Julich (CSC) could indeed capture glory.
Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner (LAN) : Scheirlinckx (Bel)
Team CSC (CSC) : Julich (E-U), A.Schleck, F.Schleck (Lux), Voigt (All)
AG2R La Mondiale (ALM) : Dessel, Gadret (Fra)
Bouygues Telecom (BTL) : Clement (Hol), Pineau (Fra)
Cofidis le crédit par téléphone (COF) : Brard, Monfort (Fra)
Crédit Agricole (C.A) : Botcharov (Rus), Caucchioli (Ita), Rolland (Fra)
Française des Jeux (FDJ) : Casar, Vaugrenard, Seb.Chavanel (Fra)
Agritubel (FRA) : Casper, Lequattre (Fra)
Team Milram (MRM) : Grivko (Ukr)
Barloworld (BAR) : Soler (Col)
Team Lampre (LAM) : Cunego (Ita)
Skil - Shimano (SKS) : Lhôtellerie (Fra)
Rabobank (RAB) : Gesink (Hol)
Caisse d'Epargne (GCE) : Gutierrez, LL.Sanchez, Valverde (Esp)
Euskaltel - Euskadi (EUS) : Astarloza, Landaluze (Esp)
Karpin Galicia (KGZ) : Cesar Veloso (Esp)
High Road (THR) : Ciolek, B.Grabsch (All), Kirchen (Lux)
Slipstream Chipotle (TSL) : Dean (Nzl), Millar (Gbr), Zabriskie (E-U)
BMC Racing Team (BMC) : Moos (Sui)
Download the press release(1 page, .pdf, 95 ko)
From Friday 11 to Sunday 13 April, cycling will be much to the fore on the occasion of the 34th edition of the Ardennes International Circuit. The race, which is made up of four stages, will set off from Monthermé to finish with an individual time trial of 17 kilometres in Villers-Semeuse. 24 teams of 6 cyclists will be at the start. This year another cyclist will be able to succeed Jérome Coppel, (formerly a member of the CR4 Chemins Roanne amateur team) who was the winner of the race in 2007. He is now a professional cyclist (competing for the Française des Jeux team.)
19 teams have been selected for the 77th edition of the Critérium International that will be held at Charleville-Mézières on the 29th and 30th of March.
Normal stage. Start on the 29th of March at 12:20: Signy-le-Petit - Charleville-Mézières (193 km)
Hill race. Start on the 30th of March at 8h30: Les Vieilles Forges - Monthermé (98.5 km)
Time-trial. First start on the 30th of March at 2:40 PM: Charleville-Mézières (urban course, 8.3km)
High Road (THR)
Team Milram (MRM)
Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner (LAN)
Team CSC (CSC)
Caisse d’Epargne (GCE)
Euskatel - Euskadi (EUS)
Karpin Galicia (KGZ)
Slipstream Chipotle (TSL)
BMC Racing Team (BMC)
AG2R - La Mondiale (ALM)
Bouygues Telecom (BTL)
Cofidis le crédit par téléphone (COF)
Credit Agricole (C.A)
Française Des Jeux (FDJ)
Team Lampre (LAM)
Download the press release(1 page, .pdf, 166 ko)
Jens Voigt, already a winner in 1999 and in 2004, conquered the event, making the difference in the hill stage after a 25 kilometre solo breakaway.
The Criterium International hadn’t witnessed a three-time winner since Sean Kelly (1983, 1984, 1987).
During the time-trial the German settled for seventh spot while Thomas Lövqvist, the fastest man in the streets of Charleville-Mézières, established a new record on the course and claimed at the same time second position overall.