uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

In the flat morning stage, King and Saint-Martin managed to keep the peloton at bay and the American managed to win the uphill sprint to take his first pro win and the leader’s jersey

Photo: Cannondale-Garming Pro Cycling




28.03.2015 @ 13:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Benjamin King (Cannondale-Garmin) took his first professional victory when he took a hugely surprising stage win in the opening leg of the Criterium International. Having escaped from the gun with Clement Saint-Martin (Marseille), he managed to keep the peloton at bay before beating his companion in the uphill sprint to take the overall lead in the French race.


Cannondale-Garmin has had a frustrating start to the 2015 season. Until today, the team had failed to win a single stage in recent days media had started to discuss what had gone wrong for the American team.


Today the team finally broke the drought but the rider to open the account was not one the main stars who are expected to shine for the Americans. Instead, it was loyal domestique Ben King who took his first professional victory in unusual circumstances.


The two-day, three-stage Criterium International always kicks off with a short, flat stage and since the race was moved to Corsica a few years ago, the sprinters have never been denied in the opening leg. However, King managed to create the big surprise when he managed to keep the peloton at bay on the flat roads on the Corsican coast.


King had attacked from the gun with Clement Saint-Martin and they had built an advantage of 4.30 before Europcar, Bretagne and FDJ started to chase. They seemed to have the situation firmly under control when they had reduced the gap to 2.35 with 25km to go but from there things started to unravel for the sprinters.


With 15km to go, the escapees still had 2.10 in hand and they entered the final 10km with an advantage of 1.45. As they passed the 3km to go banner 1.20 ahead of the peloton, it was clear that they would be allowed to contest the stage win.


In the difficult uphill sprint in Porto-Vecchio, King turned out to be the strongest as he managed to distance Saint Martin to take his first professional victory. 39 seconds later Romain Feillu (Bretagne) beat Tom Veelers (Giant-Alpecin) in the sprint but the Frenchman was left wondering what might have been.


With the win, King also takes the first leader’s jersey in the race and he goes into the afternoon time trial with an 8-second advantage over Saint Martin. The short 7km course is pretty technical and as King has a big advantage over the favourites and is a pretty good time triallist, he has a very good chance of defending his lead before the big test in tomorrow’s mountain stage.


A flat opener

As usual, the Criterium International kicked off with a short morning stage that started and finished in Porto-Vecchio. Most of the 92.5km stage took place on the flat roads along the Corsican roads but the riders did briefly venture inlands to head up a small climb at the midpoint of the stage. Then it was back onto flat roads before they reached the tricky uphill sprint, with the final kilometre averaging 3.4%.


There were no non-starters as 118 riders left Porto-Vecchio under a sunny sky and it didn’t take long for the early break to be formed. Ben King and Clement Saint-Martin attacked in the early part of the stage and while the sprint teams took it easy, they managed to build and advantage of 4.30.


King takes the mountains jersey

At this point, Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) and Etienne Van Empel (Roompot) had attacked in an attempt to bridge the gap and they had reduced their deficit to just 1.10. Meanwhile, the Europcar team of Thomas Boudat and the Bretagne team of Romain Feillu started to chase and they kept the gap stable at around 4.30. The chasers soon gave up and were swept up.


As the started to climb the Cote de Conca, the peloton upped the pace and when Ben King scored maximum points in the KOM sprint to claim the first mountains jersey, they had reduced the gap to 3.15.  Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM) scored the final 2 points as the first rider from the peloton. FDJ now also started to chase and at the 60km mark, the gap was only 2.50. At this point, King won the intermediate sprint while Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) sprinted ahead to take the final bonus second on offer


A fierce pursuit

With 25km to go, things seemed to be under control as the gap was only 2.35 but during the next 5km, the peloton only managed to reduce their deficit by 15 seconds. 15km from the line, it was still 2.10 and the escapees entered the final 10km with an advantage of 1.45.


The peloton only managed to reduce it by 10 seconds during the next 5km and as the duo were still 1.20 ahead with 3km to go, it was clear that the winner would be one of the escapees. In the end, King emerged as the strongest.



Bycykling 101: Navigering i byens gader og cykelvenlige... 27.11.2023 @ 12:11The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21

Currently no news in this list

40 years | today
Jhoan Sebastian RAMIREZ
23 years | today
37 years | today
25 years | today
Carlos CORTI
36 years | today