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Peraud and Pinot are set to clash for the second year in a row

Photo: Sirotti






22.03.2016 @ 13:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

This coming March 26 and 27, there will be something for everyone at Porto-Vecchio on the Critérium International, with a sprint finish, a time-trial, and climbs! It will be necessary to stay in contention, even shine in all three formats to win the 85th edition.


The characteristics of the Critérium International, even more so since it was moved to Porto-Vecchio and discovered the col de l'Ospedale ascension, force one to stand out as a complete rider, and find the right balance to be a front-runner on the time-trial then the climb. Of course, specialists will have their chance to excel on individual stages, which should be the case on the flat stage for sprinters Romain Feillu, Yannick Martinez and Matt Goss. The 7km individual time-trial could be the only opportunity for success for the likes of Moreno Moser, Jérémy Roy and Matthias Brändle, while the up-hill sections on the final stage could see Pierre Rolland, Alexis Vuillermoz, Romain Sicard or Arnold Jeannesson come up big.

But as for the general classification, there are a handful of multi-skilled riders to watch closely. Two-time victor, Jean-Christophe Péraud has shown a mastering of this format, which has him setting his sights on the hat trick, which only the great Jens Voigt has done on the event. But attention will also be focused on Thibaut Pinot, whose downturn in form on the approach to the Ospedale last year cost him his chance for the overall win. Convincing on the Tirreno-Adriatico (5th) despite the cancelation of the mountain stage, the FDJ leader has also shown clear improvement on the time-trial and will head to Corsica with the top spot in mind. If he has recovered from the flu that kept him from holding on to his position on Paris-Nice, Jérôme Coppel too has the profile and maybe the needed momentum following his medal winning ride in the World Time Trial Championship, to leave Porto-Vecchio victorious. As to who will win the three-stage race is not just limited to French riders. Stefan Denifl and Sébastien Reichenbach (4th ahead of Pinot on the Tirreno!) also have the qualities to finish on the podium… if not better.

16 teams and their leaders
Bora-Argon 18: Buchmann, Nerz (Deu)
Team Giant-Alpecin: Fairly (Usa)
Stölting Service Group: Gerdemann, Wegmann (Deu), Lemarchand (Fra)
United States
Cannondale: Rolland (Fra), Moser (Ita), Navardauskas (Lit)
AG2R La Mondiale: Péraud, Vuillermoz, Latour (Fra)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Jeannesson, Simon (Fra)
FDJ: Pinot (Fra), Reichenbach (Che), Eiking (Nor)
Direct Energie: Calmejane, Voeckler, Sicard (Fra)
Fortuneo-Vital Concept: Fédrigo, B.Feillu (Fra)
Delko Marseille Provence KTM: Di Gregorio, Martinez (Fra)
HP BTP-Auber 93: R.Feillu (Fra)
Roubaix Metropole Européenne de Lille: Antomarchi, Turgis (Fra)
Armée de Terre: Poulhies, Rostollan (Fra)
United Kingdom
One Pro Cycling: Goss (Aus)
IAM Cycling: Coppel (Fra), Denifl (Aut)
Team Roth: Baldo (Fra), Pires (Prt)



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