Spain: Banesto (De las Cuevas, Arrieta), Euskadi (Garcia, Galdeano)
Kelme-Costa Blanca-Eurosport (Cabello, Dominguez)
ONCE (Jalabert, Etxeberria)
France: Big Mat-Aubervilliers 93; Casino "C'est votre equipe"
Cofidis; Festina; GAN; La Francaise des Jeux ; La Mutuelle de Seine et Marne
Australia: Team AVVZ-Giant-AIS
USA: US Postal Service
Italy: ASICS; Brescialat; Cantina Tollo; Mapei-GB; Team Polti
Monaco: Batik-Del Monte
San Marino: Mercatone Uno
Switzerland: Post Swis
Saturday 29th: Blaye-les-Mines - Rabastens: 188 Kms.
Sunday 30th: Mazamet-Aussillon-Pic de Nore: 80 Kms.
Individual Time Trial: Castres-Castres
1. Stephane Barthe (Fra) Casino 4.47.28
2. Mario Traversoni (Ita) Mercatone
3. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) Gan
4. Gordon Fraser (Can) Mutuelle
5. Marco Villa (Ita) Brescialat
6. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once
7. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Cofidis
8. Martin Hvastija (Slo) Cantina Tollo
9. Mirco Crepaldi (Ita) Polti
10. Marco Artunghi (Ita) Mercatone all s.t.
11. Bo Hamburger (Den) TVM
12. Laurent Desbiens (Fra) Cofidis
13. Jean-Jacques Henry (Fra) Big Mat-Auber
14. Pascal Hervi (Fra) Festina
15. Jim Van de Laer (Bel) Cofidis
16. Rolf Huser (Sch) Post Swiss
17. Maurizio Molinari (Ita) Asics
18. Unai Etxebarria (Spa) Euskadi
19. Laurent Pillon (Fra) Mutuelle
20. Laurent Roux (Fra) TVM
27. David Etxebarria (Spa) Once
34. Scott Sunderland (Aus)
35. Mauro Gianetti (Sch) Francaise des Jeux
36. Stephane Cueff (Fra)
39. Michael Andersson (Swe)
45. Chris Boardman (Gbr)
53. Laurent Dufaux (Swi)
60. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol)
69. Luc Leblanc (Fra) Polti
70. Evgueni Berzin (Rus)
77. Tony Rominger (Swi)
82. Marco Pantani (Ita)
84. Marek Lesniewski (Pol)
89. Peter Meinert (Den)
96. Tomasz Brozyna (Pol)
113. Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor)
115. Miguel Arroyo (Mex)
117. Omar Pumar (Ven)
142. Matthew White (Aus) 7:20
145. Jay Sweet (Aus) 7:20
150. Peter Rogers (Aus) 8:29
Withdrew: Enrico Zaina (Ita), Fabrice Gougot (Fra), Stephane Petilleau (Fra)
GC after Stage 1
1. Stiphane Barthe (Fra) Casino 4.47.28
2. Mario Traversoni (Ita) Mercatone + 0.07
3. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) Gan + 0.09
4. Cyril Saugrain (Fra) Cofidis + 0.09
5. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once + 0.11
6. Fabrizio Bontempi (Ita) Brescialat + 0.11
7. Gordon Fraser (Can) Mutuelle + 0.13
8. Marco Villa (Ita) Brescialat
9. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Cofidis
10. Martin Hvastija (Slo) Cantina Tollo all s.t
Stage 1 Report
Unheralded Frenchman Stephane Barthe surprised Italian sprinter Mario
Traversoni to win Saturday's 188-kms first stage of the Criterium international
Traversoni outpaced Frenchman Frederic Moncassin down the stretch and raised
his arms five metres before the line, thinking he had won.
He did not notice Barthe on his left, who pipped him on the line to snatch his
first ever professional victory in four hours 47 minutes and 28 seconds.
Thanks to time adjustments in intermediate sprints during the day, Barthe, who
rides for Casino, took the overall lead with a seven-second lead over
But the young Frenchman, second in the Kurne-Brussels-Kurne race earlier this
season, admitted he stood no chances in Sunday's 80-kms morning climb, which
will be followed by an 8-kms time trial.
``Without a lift, I will struggle,'' the 24-year-old said.
Race favourites should take over on Sunday after they left the underdogs to
shine on a generally flat first stage.
Frenchmen Claude Lamour and Laurent Pilon led the day's main breakaways but the
star of the stage was a horse, who left his field with 20 kms left to join the
bunch, causing havoc among the riders. However, he could not hold the pace.
Stephane Barthe of France won the opening stage of the Criterium international
race Saturday, a 188km run from Blaye-les-Mines to Rabastens.
Barthe, 24, won a sprint finish to edge out Mario Traversoni of Italy and
Frederic Moncassin of France as he completed the stage in 4 hrs 47min 28sec.
The peloton was surprised some 15km from the finish when a stray horse suddenly
leapt into their midst around Isle-sur-Tarn before disappearing from the fray
as quickly as it had materialised.
Barthe just pipped Traversoni on the line after the latter had hit the front to
hold off Moncassin's challenge.
Both the front two raised their arms aloft in the belief they had won but a
photo-finish gave the Frenchman the verdict for his first stage win in a major
Barthe, who trains with Moncassin, said he would not let Saturday's success go
to his head. "I will be a great sprinter once I have won a stage of the Tour de
France," he said modestly.
Earlier, another Frenchman in the shape of Claude Lamour had escaped the field
at the 65-kilometre mark to establish a lead of 6min 20sec after 111km only to
be reined in at the death.
1. Marcelino Garcia (Spa) Once 2.10.59
2. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once 1.01
3. Pascal Hervi (Fra) Festina
4. Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone all s.t.
5. Pascal Lino (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 1.05
6. Mauro Gianetti (Sch) Francaise des Jeux 1.07
7. Andrea Noe (Ita) Asics 1.12
8. Marco Velo (Ita) Brescialat 1.13
9. Bingen Fernandez (Spa) Euskadi 1.41
10. Luc Leblanc (Fra) Polti 1.51
11. Stefano Della Santa (Ita) 2:20
12. Laurent Dufaux (Swi) 2.24
13. Alberto Elli (Ita)
14. Stefano Garzelli (Ita)
15. Stephane Heulot (Fra)
16. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol)
17. Didier Rous (Fra) all s.t.
18. Chris Boardman (Gbr) 2.28
19. Aitor Garmendia (Spa) s.t.
20. Laurent Roux (Fra) 2:28
26. Tony Rominger (Swi) 4:35
28. Stephane Barthe (Fra) 4:38
34. Philippe Bordenave (Fra) 4:47
36. Thierry Bourguignon (Fra) 4:47
37. David Moncoutie (Fra) 4:47
39. Evgueni Berzin (Rus) 4:47
41. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) 4:47
42. Dominique Rault (Fra) 4:47
47. Peter Meinert (Den) 4:47
49. Santiago Blanco (Spa) 4:50
51. Ludovic Auger (Fra) 4:54
55. Cedric Vasseur (Fra) 6:10
57. Cyril Saugrain (Fra) 6:47
58. Laurent Pillon (Fra) 6:47
59. Jean-Philippe Dojwa (Fra) 6:47
Overall after Stage 2:
1. Marcelino Garcia (Spa) 6.58.27
2. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 0.59
3. Pascal Herve (Fra) 1:01
4. Marco Pantani (Ita) 1:01
5. Pascal Lino (Fra) 1:05
6. Mauro Gianetti (Swi) 1:07
7. Andrea Noe (Ita) 1:12
8. Marco Velo (Ita) 1:13
9. Bingen Fernandez (Spa) 1:41
10. Luc Leblanc (Fra) 1:51
23. Chris Boardman (Gbr) 2:28
Little known Spaniard, Marcelino Garcia surprised the favourites by winning
the 80-kms second stage of the Criterium international cycle race on Sunday and
gave himself a real chance of an overall victory.
As the favourites were watching each other closely, team leader Laurent
Jalabert of France asked Garcia to make a move. The 26-year-old from Oviedo
responded by attacking at the start of the 12-kms climb to the Pic de Nore and
he held his position to the line.
He finished with a one minute lead over Jalabert, Italian climber Marco Pantani
and another Frenchman, Pascal Herve.
Swiss Mauro Gianetti, who made a vain attempt to follow the Spaniard, and
France's Pascal Lino finished a few seconds behind.
Title holder Chris Boardman of Britain and Swiss Laurent Dufaux crossed the
line more than two minutes behind Garcia and look out of contention.
The race ends on Sunday afternoon with an 8-kms individual time trial which
looks too short for Garcia's rivals to make up for lost time.
1. Aitor Garmendia (Spa) Once 9.38
2. Chris Boardman (Gbr) Gan 0.03
3. Pascal Lino (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 0.07
4. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once 0.10
5. Tony Rominger (Sch) Cofidis 0.13
6. Marcelino Garcia (Spa) Once 0.18
7. Martin Hvastija (Slo) Cantina Tollo 0.21
8. Stiphane Barthe (Fra) Casino 0.22
9. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) US Postal 0.22
10. Ludovic Auger (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 0.23
21. Peter Meinert (Den) 0.34
55. Scott Sunderland (Aus) 0.59
62. Bo Hamburger (Den) 1:04
1. Marcelino Garcia (Spa) Once 7.08.24
2. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once 0.50
3. Pascal Lino (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 0.54
4. Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone 1.10
5. Pascal Hervi (Fra) Festina 1.15
6. Mauro Gianetti (Sch) Francaise des Jeux 1.26
7. Marco Velo (Ita) Brescialat 1.29
8. Andrea Noe (Ita) Asics 1.33
9. Luc Leblanc (Fra) Polti 2.06
10. Aitor Garmendia (Spa) Once 2.10
31. Peter Meinert (Den) 5:02
79. Scott Sunderland (Aus) 12:35
80. Bo Hamburger (Den) 12:40
Final Day Report
Unheralded Spaniard Marcelino Garcia surprised the favourites to win the
Criterium International on Sunday.
As the top challengers watched each other closely in Sunday morning's 80 km
mountain stage, ONCE team leader Laurent Jalabert of France asked Garcia to
make a move.
The Oviedo rider responded by attacking at the start of the 12 km climb to the
Pic de Nore and finished with a one minute lead over Jalabert and two other
leading contenders, Italian Marco Pantani and France's Pascal Herve.
The advantage was more than enough for Garcia to remain overall leader after
the eight km afternoon time trial won by fellow-Spaniard and ONCE team mate
Jalabert was second overall, ahead of compatriot Pascal Lino and Pantani.
Defending champion Chris Boardman of Britain lost over two minutes in the
morning's climb, too much to make up in the short time trial.
``I did not have any legs today. I'm far too off-form,'' said Boardman, who had
only six days of racing under his belt before the weekend.
Boardman, the one-hour world record holder, was still good enough to snatch
second place in the time trial, three seconds behind Garmendia.
Jalabert said he had lost too much strength in a bad crash at the end of last
week's Milan-San Remo classic to be able to reclaim the Criterium crown he won
Marcelino Garcia of Spain won the two-day Criterium International cycling race
here Sunday, beating ONCE teammate Laurent Jalabert of France into second place
by 50 seconds.
Another Spaniard, Aitor Garmendia, won the 8km third stage time-trial around
Castres, edging out last year's winner Chris Boardman of Britain by three
seconds, to leave Garcia out in front overall.
"Manolo (Saiz, sporting director of the ONCE team) told me to attack at the
bottom of the final climb to make our opponents work," said Garcia afterwards.
"It all worked out fine, but I must thank Laurent Jalabert for braking behind."
Boardman conceded he was bitterly disappointed not to have retained his title.
"I thought I could get a better result in the time trial. I was motivated, but
perhaps I ask too much of myself," said the Briton, the holder of the hour
He added he would now concentrate on this week's Paris-Camembert and take the
chance to reconnoitre the Tour de France prologue at Rouen before going on to
the Basque Tour.
Pascal Lino of France was third 54 seconds off the pace before Italy's Marco
Pantani, at 1 min 10 sec.
Garcia, 26 and a professional since 1994, achieved his first major career win
by taking the second road stage on Sunday, an 80km run which ended at the
summit of the 1185-metre Pic de Nore mountain. The Spaniard escaped 10km from
the finish to see off the chasing pack by a clear minute.