Criterium International de la Route, Cat 2.2

France, March 28-29, 1998

The Stages:

  • Saturday, March 28, Stage 1 - Rabastens-Blaye les Mines, 190.5 kms.
  • Sunday, March 29, Stage 2 - Mazamet-Aussillon, Mountain race 80 kms.
  • Sunday, March 28, Stage 3 - Castres, ITT 8 kms.


    After the Catalan Week, the peloton moves to the Pyrenees, in the Tarn, the French region where Laurent Jalabert was born. For the next two days they contest the Criterium International, a prestigious stage race which always attracts a large field. Jalabert is using this weekend to prepare for the Tour of the Basque Countries and commented on that tour ahead: "This year the distance will be demanding, and I must prepare well for it. I think the final mountain stage will be the determining factor in the race."

    The captains of the ONCE team for the French contest will be David Etxebarria and Melchor Mauri. The stars of the Criterium will be Richard Virenque, Laurent Dufaux and Marco Pantani who on Sunday morning will be featuring on the climb of the Pic de Nore.

    Other riders who will be worth following will be the revelation of Catalan Stefano Garzelli, who was involved in the mountain stage to Rasos de Peguera, and Dario Frigo, who came third on that day.

    Stage 1, Rabastens-Blaye les Mines, 190.5 kms:

      1. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux    5.08.47 
      2. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) GAN 
      3. Laurent Roux (Fra) TVM-Farm Frites 
      4. Mariano Piccoli (Itay) Brescialat 
      5. Bobby Julich (US) Cofidis 
      6. Davide Rebellin (Ita) La Francaise des Jeux 
      7. Didier Rous (Fra) Festina 
      8. Pascal Herve (Fra) Festina 
      9. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina 
     10. Bo Hamburger (Den) Casino
     11. Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa) ONCE
     12. Luc Leblanc (Fra) Polti
     13. Evgeni Berzin (Rus) La Francaise des Jeux
     14. Andrea Peron (Ita) La Francaise des Jeux		s.t.
     15. Xavier Jan (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux		0.05
     16. Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 		1.40
     17. Laurent Pillon (Fra) Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne	1.40
     18. Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Casino 			1.40
     19. Ruben Galvan Manchon (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca  	1.44
     20. Gilles Maignan (Fra) Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne 	1.44
    Retired: Jay Sweet (Aus) Big Mat-Auber 93

    GC after Stage 1

      1. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux    5.08.35 
      2. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) GAN 				0.03
      3. Laurent Roux (Fra) TVM-Farm Frites			0.08
      4. Mariano Piccoli (Itay) Brescialat			0.12
      5. Bobby Julich (US) Cofidis 
      6. Davide Rebellin (Ita) La Francaise des Jeux 
      7. Didier Rous (Fra) Festina 
      8. Pascal Herve (Fra) Festina 
      9. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina 
     10. Bo Hamburger (Den) Casino         		      all s.t.
    114. Henk Vogels (Aus) GAN                      	1.44


    Frenchman Emmanuel Magnien, riding for La Française des Jeux, secured his teams first victory of the season when he won the first stage of the Critérium International over 190.5 kilometers between Rabastens and Blaye-the-Mines.

    A small group of 15 riders came to the line for the sprint and it was Magnien who was able to regulate the proceedings. By beating Australian Stuart O' Grady and the France's Laurent Roux, he took the leaders jersey into the second day which comprises a hill climb and an individual time trial.

    The 26-year old Magnien turned professional in 1993, and finished second in Milan-San Remo a week earlier

    The attack came with 40 kms to go when the main peloton was split by heavy winds and the work of La Francaise des Jeux riders (Berzin, Magnien, Jan, Peron). Fourteen riders were able to get away and they joined Stuart O'Grady and the Spaniard Jose Luis Rubiera, who has already escaped. Luc Leblanc, Didier Rous and Christophe Moreau, the Dane Bo Hamburger also placed themselves in good position before the second day, whereas the fancied contender for the mountain stage, Italian Marco Pantani was dropped in the attack.

    Stage 2, Mazamet-Aussillon, Mountain race 80 kms:

      1. Rodolfo Massi (Ita) Casino		     2.19.26
      2. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino			0.05
      3. Bo Hamburger (Den) Casino
      4. Kevin Livingston (USA) Cofidis
      5. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Polti
      6. Bobby Julich (USA) Cofidis
      7. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina
      8. Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Bianchi
      9. Enrico Zaina (Ita) Brescialat-Liquigas  
     10. Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Festina
     11. Sergei Ivanov (Rus) TVM-Farm Frites
     12. Santiago Blanco (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros
     13. Massimo Donati (Ita) Saeco-Cannondale
     14. Aitor Garmendia (Spa) Banesto
     15. Fabian Jeker (Sch) Festina              all s.t.
     78. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) GAN         		5.26
    122. Henk Vogels (Aus) GAN          	       10.16

    GC after Stage 2

     1. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Polti 
     2. Bobby Julich (USA) Cofidis			s.t.
     3. Bo Hamburger (Den) Casino
     4. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina
     5. Luc Leblanc (Fra) Polti			0.25

    Stage 3, Castres-Castres, ITT 8 kms:

      1. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina			9.43 (50.00)
      2. Aitor Garmendia Arbilla (Spa) Banesto 		0.10
      3. Melchior Mauri (Spa) ONCE				0.15
      4. Bobby Julich (US) Cofidis				0.15
      5. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino 				0.26
      6. Henk Vogels (Aus) GAN				0.30
      7. Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa) ONCE                	0.31
      8. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux	0.31
      9. Chris Boardman (GB) GAN				0.31
     10. Andrea Peron (Ita) La Francaise des Jeux		0.32
     11. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Cofidis			0.32
     12. Didier Rous (Fra) Festina           		0.33
     13. Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno     		0.35
     14. Gilles Maignan (Fra) Mutuelle       		0.36
     15. Evgueni Berzin (Rus) La Francaise des Jeux		0.36
     19. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) GAN				0.41

    Final GC

      1. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina	             7.38.01
      2. Bobby Julich (USA) Cofidis              		0.15
      3. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Polti               		0.39
      4. Bo Hamburger (Dan) Casino                  	0.52
      5. Luc Leblanc (Fra) Polti                    	1.12
      6. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux	1.14
      7. Didier Rous (Fra) Festina                    	1.28
      8. Laurent Roux (Fra) TVM-Farm Frites             	1.28
      9. Andrea Peron (Ita) La Francaise des Jeux     	1.35
     10. Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa) ONCE              		1.44
     11. Pascal Herve (Fra) Festina 			1.49
     12. Evgueni Berzin (Rus) La Francaise des Jeux 	1.49
     13. Aitor Garmendia Arbilla (Spa) Banesto 		1.54
     14. Xavier Jan (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux     	2.05
     15. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino 				2.10
     16. Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Bianchi 		2.19
     17. Fabian Jeker (Swi) Festina 			2.27
     18. Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Festina 			2.30
     19. Serguei Ivanov (Rus) TVM-Farm Frites 		2.35
     20. Aitor Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Banesto 		2.38
     48. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) GAN              		5.53
     81. Henk Vogels (Aus) GAN                             12.22


    Frenchman Christophe Moreau (Festina) won the Critérium International on Sunday after his victory in the third stage, an 8 km ITT starting and finishing in Castres. Moreau finished on equal time with his main rivals in the second stage, held in the morning, which involved the peloton riding 80 kms to the summit of Pic de Nore (some 1,800 metres). Rodolfo Massi (Casino) won that stage.

    In the afternoon, in the ITT, Moreau beat American Bobby Julich (Cofidis) by 15 seconds. The two other riders on equal time to him lost several seconds in the ITT. They were the Italian Davide Rebellin who lost 39 seconds and the Dane Bo Hamburger 52 seconds.

    On the 8 kms course, Moreau approached an average speed of 50 km/h. Spaniard Aitor Garmendia was second at 10 seconds and countryman Melchor Mauri was third at 15 seconds. British time trial specialist, GAN's Chris Boardman conceded 31 seconds to Moreau, while the Russian Evgueni Berzin lost 36 seconds.

    Aged 26, Moreau turned professional in 1995. Before this victory, the Frenchman won the 1996 Tour of Chile. Last year he worked in the Tour for his Team leader Richard Virenque but still managed to take 6th place in the last time trial at EuroDisney.

    His only other time trial victory came at the 1996 Tour L'Avenir.

    Moreau said he was confident of winning the race after the mountain stage in the morning. He was quoted as saying that: " I realised that I could win the race after the second stage on Sunday morning. My manager has repeatedly said to me that I must learn to win. Actually I made it because the leaders of the team were absent. I was very concerned before the time-trial and I told myself that I could not miss such an opportunity. Today, I have had one of the best performance of my all life. And I proved that (team) leaders can rely on me."

    Main Participants:

    ONCE: Garcia, David Etxebarria and Mauri
    Mapei-Bricobì: Bugno, Di Grande, Figueras, Tafi
    Festina: Virenque and Dufaux
    Casino: Elli and Massi
    Banesto: De Las Cuevas
    GAN: Stuart O'Grady
    Lotto-Mobistar: Laukka
    TVM-Farm Frites: Roux and Blijlevens
    Saeco-Cannondale: Frigo and Donati
    La Francaise des Jeux: Berzin and Peron
    Cofidis: Fondriest and Julich
    Polti: Leblanc, Rebellin and Guerini
    Vitalicio Seguros: Buenahora
    Kelme-Costa Blanca: Rubiera
    US Postal: Robin and Hincapie
    Mercatone Uno-Bianchi: Pantani, Traversoni and Garzelli
    Scrigno-Gaerne: Filipo Casagrande and Conte
    Brescialat-Liquigas: Zaina, Sgambelluri and Piccoli

    Past Winners

    1927	Julien Moineu (Fra)
    1928	André Leducq (Fra)
    1929	Paul Le Drogo (Fra)
    1930	Robert Brugere (Fra)
    1932	Leon Le Calvez (Fra)
    1933	André Leducq (Fra)
    1934	Roger Lapbie (Fra)
    1935	René Le Greves (Fra)
    1936	Paul Chocque (Fra)
    1937	Roger Lapbie ,  René Le Greves (Fra)
    1938	Pierre Jaminet (Fra)
    1939	André Deforge (Fra)
    1940	Emile Idee (Fra)
    1941	Yvon Marie (Fra), Benoit Faure (Fra)
    1942	Aldo Bertocco (Fra), Emile Idee (Fra)
    1943	Louis Gauthier (Fra), Emile Idee (Fra)
    1944	Roger Piel (Fra)
    1945	Joseph Goutorbe (Fra)
    1946	Kleber Piot (Fra), Camille Danguilaume (Fra)
    1947	Emile Idee (Fra)
    1948	Camille Danguilaume (Fra)
    1949	Emile Idee (Fra)
    1950	Pierre Barbotin (Fra)
    1951	Louison Bobet (Fra)
    1952	Louison Bobet (Fra)
    1953	Robert Desbats (Fra)
    1954	Roger Hassenforder (Fra)
    1955	René Privat (Fra)
    1956	Roger Hassenforder (Fra)
    1957	Jean Forestier (Fra)
    1958	Roger Hassenforder (Fra)
    1959	André Darrigade (Fra)
    1960	Jean Graczyk (Fra)
    1961	Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
    1962	Joseph Groussard (Fra)
    1963	Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
    1964	Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
    1965	Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
    1966	Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
    1967	Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
    1968	Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
    1969	Gilbert Bellone (Fra)
    1970	Georges Chappe (Fra)
    1971	Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
    1972	Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
    1973	Jean-Pierre Danguilaume (Fra)
    1974	Bernard Thevenet (Fra)
    1975	Jacques Esclassan (Fra)
    1976	Patrick Beon (Fra)
    1977	Jean Chassang (Fra)
    1978	Bernard Hinault (Fra)
    1979	Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)
    1980	Michel Laurent (Fra)
    1981	Bernard Hinault (Fra)
    1982	Laurent Fignon (Fra)
    1983	Sean Kelly (Ire)
    1984	Sean Kelly (Ire)
    1985	Stephen Roche (Ire)
    1986	Urs Zimmermann (Swi)
    1987	Sean Kelly (Ire)
    1988	Erik Breukink (Ned)
    1989	Miguel Indurain (Spa)
    1990	Laurent Fignon (Fra)
    1991	Stephen Roche (Ire)
    1992	Jean-Francois Bernard (Fra)
    1993	Erik Breukink (Ned)
    1994	Giorgio Furlan (Ita)
    1995	Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
    1996	Chris Boardman (GB)
    1997	Marcelino Garcia (Spa)	
    My friend Mario Stiehl from Berlin provides the history lists