Criterium International - France

Stage One
Stage Two
Stage Three and Final GC

Stage 1 (Gaillac--Gaillac 191km, March 30)

Criterium International AS IT HAPPENS


Laurent Jalabert was at the start line .... to press flesh, smile and sign autographs. The last press report had it that his knee was a bit better, but not enough to start this race. I don't know how far into the race they are (a couple of hours?), but Fabrizio Bontempi (It, Brescialat) escaped at 13km on the first climb and has a lead of 41 secs on Francisque Teyssier (Fr, Aubervilliers 93-Peugeot), and 1.15 ahead of the peloton where Andersson and Mariano Rojas (Sp, ONCE) are prominent at the front.


With 5km to go the peloton is all together, with GAN at the head of affairs (as Liggett would say). GAN's Chris Boardman has already collected 3 secs bonification in an intermediate sprint. Casino's new signing Armand De Las Cuevas has abandoned the race.


As the peloton goes through the 1km to go mark, GAN is leading out for its sprinter Frederic Moncassin. Chris Boardman is towing him along -- but it's former GAN rider Christophe Capelle (Fr, ForceSud) who snatches the sprint.

Race Report

Fabrizio Bontempi (It, Brescialat) broke clear at 13 km and was joined at 40km by Teyssier (Fr, Aubervilliers 93-Peugeot). Their lead got up to 8.10 at 72km and they amassed 13 secs of sprint bonifications between them. Behind, Chris Boardman was sprinting for the remnants of the bonifications, picking up 1 seconds and 2 seconds.

GAN took up the chase and the peloton caught Teyssier and then Bontempi at km148. GAN continued to work hard at the front of the peloton on behalf of Boardman and Frederic Moncassin but in the sprint it was Christophe Capelle (Fr, ForceSud) who emerged.

Stage 1 Gaillac - Gaillac 191 km:

 1. Christophe Capelle (Fra) Forcesud           4.47.10 (39,91 km/h)
 2. Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel) Mapei-GB
 3. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) Gan
 4. Lauri Aus (Est) Mutuelle
 5. Rebellin (Ita) Team Polti
 6. Marcel Wust (Ger) MX Onda
 7. Mauro Gianetti (Sch) Team Polti
 8. Stephane Heulot (Fra) Gan
 9. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Mutuelle
10. Michel Lafis (Swe) Telekom
11. Marie (Fra)
12. Ullrich (All)
13. Piccoli (Ita)
14. Brochard (Fra)
15. Noe (Ita)
16. Saugrain (Fra)
17. Nazon (Fra)
18. Richard (Sui)
19. Fleischer (All)
20. Talmant (Fra)
21. Boardman (G-B)                            all s.t.


 1. Christophe Capelle (Fra) Forcesud           4.47.00
 2. Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel) Mapei-GB          + 0.04
 3. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) Gan                 + 0.05
 4. Chris Boardman (Eng) Gan                     + 0.07
 5. Heulot (Fra)

Intermediate time bonuses:

 Bontempi 7 secs
 Teyssier 6 secs
 Boardman 3 secs
 Moncassin 1 sec
 Heulot 1 sec

(Non-starters: Bernard - Agrigel; Pena - Mapei)

(Abandons: Bincoletto, Vermote - Agrigel; Sabatier, Rezze - Aki; De Las Cuevas
- Petit Casino; Sjoberg - Collstrop; Morras - ONCE)

Stage Two

The first part of stage 2 (Mazamet--Pic de Nore 80km), involving a summit finish, was won this morning (March 31) by Mauro Gianetti (Swi, Team Polti) with Michele Coppolillo (It, MG-Technogym) second at ??? seconds, Chris Boardman (GB, GAN) third at 18 secs and Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel, Mapei-GB) third at 24 secs.

The final half stage, a 6.5km time trial at Castres, takes place this afternoon. Boardman is now well placed.

Coming into the afternoon time trial (after this morning's stage up to a "glacial" Pic de Nore -- reportedly 60 riders finished outside the time limit, but this needs confirmation) the overall standings are:

Luc Leblanc (Fr, Team Polti) stretched out the peloton in the first of the three climbs, the Col de Fontbruno. At the summit of the second climb, the Cote de Triby (58.5km), where race leader Christophe Capelle (Fr, ForceSud) went off the back, Mauro Gianetti (Swi, Team Polti) attacked, with an almost immediate counter-attack from Michele Coppolillo (It, MG-Technogym).

Towards the bottom of the descent, Didier Rous (Fr, GAN) took off in pursuit of them, quickly being joined by his team-leader Chris Boardman and Pascal Richard (Swi, MG). The three pursuers caught Gianetti and Coppolillo at the foot of the final climb to the Pic de Nore, and by 10km from the summit, the five leaders had 34 seconds on th next group.

With 5km to go Gianetti attacked and stayed away.

Stage 2 Results

 1. Mauro Gianetti (Swi, Team Polti) 	80km in 2.12.02
 2. Michele Coppolillo (It, MG-Technogym)  	 + 0.06 secs
 3. Chris Boardman (GB, GAN)  			 + 0.18
 4. Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel, Mapei-GB)   	 + 0.57
 5. Luc Leblanc (Fr, Team Polti)
 6. Neil Stephens (Australia, ONCE)
 7. Angel Luis Casero (Sp, Banesto)
 8. Richard Virenque (Fr, Festina)
 9. Andrea Noe (It, Mapei-GB)
10. Aitor Garmendia (Sp, ONCE)  		   s.t.
11. Didier Rous (Fr, GAN) 			 + 1.11
12. Laurent Brochard (Fr, Festina) 		 + 1.27
13. Stefano Della Santa (It, Mapei-GB) 		 + 1.45
14. Mikel Zarrabeitia (Sp, ONCE) 		 + 2.03
15. Pascal Richard (Swi, MG-Technogym) 		 + 2.30
16. Patrick Jonker (Australia, ONCE) 		 + 2.38
17. Mariano Rojas (Sp, ONCE) 			 + 3.00
18. Luca Gelfi (It, Brescialat) 		 + 4.14
19. Martinez Manuel Beltran (Sp, Mapei)
20. Davide Rebellin (It, Team Polti) 		all s.t.
65. Frederic Moncassin (Fr, GAN) 		 +12.41

66th was the last finisher to be classified, the remainder (including race
leader Christophe Capelle) finishing outside the time limit.

GC after Stage 2

 1. Gianetti
 2. Coppolillo 		+ 0.06 secs
 3. Boardman   		+ 0.15
 4. Vandenbroucke 	+ 0.51
 5. Noe 		+ 0.57

Stage Three and Final GC

A surprise victory for Didier Rous (Fr) in the 6.5km time trial (Stage 3), beating GAN tem-mate Chris Boardman into second place at (I think) 3 seconds. But Boardman's performance outdoes Mauro Gianetti's sufficiently to give him the final overall victory, his first in a pro stage race.

Results Stage 3 Castres - Castres ITT 6,5 km:

 1. Didier Rous (Fr, GAN) 		7min 44.77 secs (50.43kph)
 2. Chris Boardman  (GB, GAN) 		 + 0.03 secs
 3. Neil Stephens (Australia, ONCE) 	 + 0.07
 4. Aitor Garmendia (Sp, ONCE) 		 + 0.11
 5. Laurent Brochard (Fr, Festina) 	 + 0.12
 6. Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel, Mapei-GB) + 0.14
 7. Erwan Mentheour (Fr, Aki-Gipiemme) 	 + 0.15
 8. Patrick Joncker (Australia, ONCE) 	 + 0.16
 9. Michele Coppolillo (It, MG-Technogym)+ 0.17
10. Angel Luis Casero (Sp, Banesto) 	 + 0.18
11. Santos Gonzalez Capilla (Sp, Kelme)    s.t.
12. Andrei Teteriuk (Kaz, Aki-Gipiemme)  + 0.20
13. Mariano Rojas (Sp, ONCE) 		 + 0.21
14. Alv Gonzalez (Sp, Euskadi) 		 + 0.22
15. ???????? Faustini (It, Aki-Gipiemme)   s.t.
16. Eddy Seigneur (Fr, GAN) 		 + 0.23
19. Mauro Gianetti (Swi, Team Polti) 	 + 0.26
20. Richard Virenque (Fr, Festina)  	 + 0.27
24. Luc Leblanc (Fr, Team Polti) 	 + 0.34


Didier Rous did a great ride, having put in a major effort for his team leader in the morning, but Mauro Gianetti was measuring himself against Boardman. "Frankly I'd already done well to win the mountain stage," he said "I dug deep in the time trial, but up against a guy who has taken 20 seconds out of Indurain in a prologue, there wasn't much chance that I could resist the challenge."........

Final overall:

 1. Chris Boardman (Eng) Gan                   7.07.14
 2. Michele Coppolillo (Ita) MG-Technogym       + 0.05
 3. Mauro Gianetti (Sch) Team Polti             + 0.08
 4. Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel) Mapei-GB         + 0.47
 5. Neil Stephens (Aus) Once                    + 0.48
 6. Aitor Garmendia (Spa) Once                  + 0.50
 7. Didier Rous (Fra) Gan                       + 0.53
 8. Angel Luis Casero (Spa) Banesto             + 0.57
 9. Andrea Noe (Ita) Mapei-GB                   + 1.03
10. Richard Virenque (Fra) Festina              + 1.06
11. Brochard 					+ 1.21
12. Leblanc 					+ 1.51
13. Mikel Zarrabeitia (Sp, ONCE) 		+ 2.16
14. Stefano Della Santa (It, Mapei-GB) 		+ 2.24
15. Joncker 					+ 2.36
16. Pascal Richard (Swi, MG-Technogym)  	+ 2.54
17. Rojas  					+ 3.03                                   
18. Davide Rebellin (It, Team Polti)  		+ 4.27
19. Giuseppe Guerini (It, Team Polti)  		+ 4.31
20. \luca Gelfi (It, Brescialat) 		+ 4.35

(65 classified)

Mountains: Fabrizio Bontempi (Ita) Brescialat

Points: Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel) Mapei-GB