Péraud Confirms AG2R's Winning Series

news31.03.2014After the race

The fantastic winning series of team AG2R - La Mondiale continues. After Carlos Betancur's success on Paris-Nice, Jean-Christophe Peraud conquered overall victory on the 83rd edition of the Critérium International. The final stage of the race was claimed by Mathias Frank (IAM) ahead of Peraud and Machado. A year after Christopher Froome, the Frenchman becomes the new king of Corsica.

Under a bright sunshine, the 113 riders of tjis 83rd edition of the Critérium International took off just before noon for the toughest stage of the weekend: 176 kilometres of riding in southern Corsica heading to the famous Col de l'Ospedale. After a very fast start indeed, a group of five riders managed to take off after 22 kilometres: Tulik (EUC), Fouchard (COF), Duque (COL), Paillot (LPM) and Dassonville (BIG).

The five escapees saw their lead reach 4'25 at the first intermediate sprint (km 48) claimed by Fouchard ahead of Paillot and Dassonville. That gap remained the same at the summit of the Côte de Rocapina (km 56.5) where Duque led the way. The Colombian also made it first to the top of the Côte d'Orasi (km 67) while the pack led by team Giant-Shimano of Yellow Jersey Tom Dumoulin and Trek Factory Racing moved closer. The second bonus sprint in Sartène (km 77) was won by Dassonville ahead of Paillot and Fouchard while the pack was 4' adrift. The third climb of the day, the Côte de Viggianello (km 93) gave Leonardo Duque 6 extra climber's points with the front five still enjoying a 3'15 lead.

The escapees were eventually caught on the climb up to the Col de Sainte Lucie (at km 112). A pack of sixty or so riders reached the top led by Rovny (TCS). On the fifth ascent of the day, times were getting tough for both Coppel (COF) and Andy Schleck (TFR) who were among the first to be dropped. On the downhill portion, two men managed to take off: Fairly (GRS) and Nauleau (EUC). They carried on their efforts in style and could count on a 40' lead with 25kms to go. The third sprint of the day (km 159) was claimed by Fairly ahead of Nauleau while the pack moved closer at 18” only. At the very beginning of the final climb up to the Col de l'Ospedale, the leading men were caught at km 162.

Led by team Trek, only 20 riders remained in the front group. Yellow Jersey Tom Dumoulin (GIA) failed to keep up with the pace set by the strong men and was dropped with under 10 kilometres to go. Three kilometres from the finish, only four men survived in the lead: Peraud (ALM), Frank (IAM), F. Schleck (TFR) and Majka (TCS). While all four gave it a go and attacked, they remained together for the final explanation. The group was even joined by Machado (TNE) and Sepulveda (BSE), 500m from the line. Mathias Frank eventually flew to a fine win, beating Peraud and Machado.

Thanks to his second spot and his excellent fourth place on the previous day's time-trial, Jean-Christophe Peraud claims this 83rd edition of the event. The Frenchman wins the GC with a 1'' advantage over Frank and 19” over Machado. Mathias Frank wins both the points and best climber's classifications while Rafal Majka is crowned best young rider.

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Jersey wearers after the stage 3

Classifications after the stage 3


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