IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE AND ENTHUSIASM that the Critérium International will be setting up camp in Porto-Vecchio at the end of March for its 79th edition. These sentiments are accompanied by our heartfelt thanks to the Mayor of Porto-Vecchio. Georges Mela welcomed us with open arms when presented with the proposition of hosting the race, which has spent the last nine years in Charleville-Mézières, in the Ardennes region.
We are all the more delighted since, to date, A.S.O. has never had the opportunity to organise one of its events on the Isle of Beauty.
The arrival of the Critérium International will also be an opportunity for Corsica and more particularly southern Corsica to renew acquaintance with international cycling. Indeed, in the nineteen sixties, at the time of the great dual between Anquetil and Poulidor, Paris-Nice twice called in on the island, whilst the Tour of Corsica, a race now reserved for the elite of amateur cycling, can proudly boast amongst its roll of honour names like Bernard Hinault, Gilbert Duclos Lassalle or even Stephen Roche.
On 27th and 28th March, during the three stages of this famous three-part road event, the pack will be riding along an expressive terrain on a tailor-made route: flat roads along the seashore that are sometimes straight, sometimes winding, selective climbs before the finish at the Col de l'Ospedale, as well as steep streets around the citadel of Porto-Vecchio for the final time-trial. The backdrop for all this action is the majestic landscapes of Porto-Vecchio's surroundings: the beach and turquoise waters of Palombaggia, the regional nature park, Bonifacio and its cliffs, to name but a few…
It is more than enough to whet the appetite and if proof was needed, then Lance Armstrong, seven times winner of the Tour de France and Cadel Evans, the first Australian to become world champion, but also the best French riders, have already enrolled for the race.
This all promises plenty of thrills for Porto-Vecchio's inaugural Critérium International.
Director of the Tour de France