The traditional Sunday morning stage on the Criterium International went Simon Geschke’s way. The German captured his first pro success, outsprinting Fischer and Mangel to the line. Frank Schleck keeps his yellow jersey and his 16’’ lead over Kyrienka before the final 7.8km time-trial in the afternoon.
It was an early morning start for the remaining 102 riders in the race that were to take on a 75km stage around Porto Vecchio. Along the sea and just by the splendid Palombaggia beach, five men managed to take off after only 4 kilometres: Martinez (EUS), Di Gregorio (AST), Doi (SKS), Dion (BSC) and Jeandesboz (SAU). The front men reached the top of the first and only climb of the day, the Cote de Pagliaggiolo (km 23) with a 50” lead over a pack led by the Leopard-Trek team of yellow jersey, Frank Schleck. Doi made it first to the summit ahead of Di Gregorio and Martinez.
At the intermediate sprint, staged at km 34, Doi again beat Jeandesboz and Di Gregorio while the pack remained 42” adrift. The Garmin-Cervelo team then took command of the chase and the gap started dropping. With 20kms to go, the leading men could still enjoy a 35” advantage that was to drop down to 20” with 10kms to go. Eight kilometres from the line Fabrice Jeandesboz gave it a go on his own but the last breakaway survivor was finally caught with 3kms to go.
A bunched pack showed up for the final sprint in the streets of Porto Vecchio. Simon Geschke made the best of the good work of his Skill team mates to power to success, beating Murilo Fischer (GRM) and Laurent Mangel (SAU). Franck Schleck keeps his yellow jersey and will be counting on his 16’’ lead over Kyrienka (MOV) and 20’’ over white jersey Taaramae (COF) on the afternoon’s 7.8km time-trial. The best climbers’ jersey remains on the shoulders of Ligthard (VCD).