Criterium International, Cat 2.2

France, March 29-30, 1997

1996 Results and Reports
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  • Stage One
  • Stage Two
  • Stage Three and Final GC
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    The Tour de France Societe has already selected the 22 teams that will partcipate at the 66th Criterium International which will be disputed between March 29 and 30th in Tarn (France).

    The Teams

    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
    Holland: TVM
    Italy: ASICS; Brescialat; Cantina Tollo; Mapei-GB; Team Polti
    Monaco: Batik-Del Monte
    San Marino: Mercatone Uno
    Switzerland: Post Swis

    The Stages

    Saturday 29th: Blaye-les-Mines - Rabastens: 188 Kms.
    Sunday 30th: Mazamet-Aussillon-Pic de Nore: 80 Kms.
    Individual Time Trial: Castres-Castres

    Stage 1, Blaye-les-Mines - Rabastens, 188 km:

      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 cycling race.

    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 Traversoni.

    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.

    More Reports

    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 event.

    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.

    Stage 2, Mazamet-Pic de Nore, 80 km:

      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

    Stage 2

    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.

    Stage 3, ITT in Castres, 8 km:

     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

    Final overall:

     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 Aitor Garmendia.

    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 in 1995.

    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 world record.

    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.