Criterium International: Gerrans takes second stage - Voigt new overall leader

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30.03.2008/ Despite his rivals knowing all too well his capability of creating a significant gap on this type of race, CSC's Jens Voigt managed to put in a decisive attack after the first 20 kms of the race. In the company of Gerrans (Credit Agricole), Casar (Francaise des Jeux) and Santambrogio (Lampre), the defending race champ maintained a strong pace throughout the stage to stave of the main field. In the final 20 kilometres, it was with Simon Gerrans that the German pursued his mission. The Australian was rewarded for his effort with the stage win, while Voigt took the yellow jersey from Laurens Ten Dam and will have a comfortable 1’14” lead in the overall standings from the Dutchman heading into this afternoon’s time trial in Chareville-Mézières..

© Credit Agricole
Simon Gerrans took the mroning stage (© Credit Agricole)

Living up to his reputation, Clemènt Lhôtellerie (Skil - Shimano) took the initiative in the first kilometres of the race. He put in repeated attacks on the first two climbs of the day with Duque (Cofidis) and Tschopp (Bouygues Telecom) and with the group including Franck Schleck (CSC), which were systematically covered.

Voigt in the right breakaway

Then a group of four riders; Jens Voigt (CSC), Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux) Simon Gerrans (Credit Agricole) and Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre) took over at km20 and began to build a lead. As they made their way over the côte de Blossette, their lead stood at 1’45” over a group of 50 riders. The string of difficulties, and an acceleration from the Caisse d’Epargne team resulted in a number of riders dropping off the back.

A halt to the action

The four leaders had their breakaway interrupted by a demonstration that temporarily stopped the race at km 48. The four leaders had to wait some 40 minutes before they could re-start the race where they increased their pre-demonstration lead of 1’55 to a maximum of 2’20” at the summit of the Côte de Mellier-Fontaine, (km 56.5), then the Côte du Bois de l’Or (km61).

Mission accomplished for Voigt

Employing a strategy with the overall lead in mind, the Côte du Mont Malgré Tout provided Voigt the opportunity to stamp his authority. Casar was the first to fall back, then Santambrogio. At the summit, the defending race champion only had Gerrans at his side. The duo, which never came under threat from a counter-attack, had 2’20” in hand at the base of the stage’s final difficulty at 3.5 kms from the finish. They continued to ride in unison on the Côte de la Roche aux 7 Villages. At the arrival, Gerrans left Voigt in the final 300 metres, but for the German rider it was already mission accomplished as he took the yellow jersey. In the main field, which crossed the line with a 1’30 deficit, no one looks likely to pose a threat to Voigt in his quest for a fourth title. 

Stage winner Simon Gerrans said: "This stage was my only objective in taking part in the Criterium International. I am not a strong enough rider to hope for much success in the time trial, so this is the one I had to win. After the interruption of the race it was hard to re-start because we had cooled off, but we immediately began to ride sufficiently quick enough. To hope of making it to the end, I had to get on with it straight away and that’s what we did. That is how we managed to maintain our lead to the end."

CSC dominated the stage, several CSC riders were making it a tough race from the beginning. "Andy and Gustav were in the first break with eight others and Fränk went solo on the second mountain, where no one was able to keep up with him. However it was too far to go on his own so he had to let himself fall back again and then Jens attacked in a group of four," explained a happy CSC sports director Kim Andersen on the CSC Team website

"Obviously Jens is highly motivated but it's also very much thanks to the team that this worked out the way it did, because we have so many guys looking out for him," continued Kim Andersen.

The plan almost fell to the ground with about 40 kilometer to go, when the race was interrupted by a demonstration. A local factory has closed down and the demonstrators took to the streets during Criterium International.

"I was getting very worried that the stage was gonna be cancelled so we'd loose it all. The riders were all freezing out there, but luckily it turned out ok," said the Danish sports director.

After about half an hour the riders were sent off with the same lead as when the race had been interrupted.

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Results Criterium International 2008
Stage 2
1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Crédit Agricole                     2.27.36
2 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                  0.04
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                  1.39
4 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre                                   
5 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                          
6 David Herrero (Spa) Karpin Galicia                            
7 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                  
8 Gustavo César Veloso (Spa) Karpin Galicia                     
9 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux                    
10 Kim Kirchen (Lux) High Road                                  
11 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                     
12 Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC Racing Team                         
13 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis                                 
14 Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Team CSC                           
15 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux                  1.43
16 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      
17 Egoi Martínez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                        
18 Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                   
19 Iouri Trofimov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom                        
20 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Barloworld                          
21 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                   1.46
22 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC                             
23 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole                    
24 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                           
25 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank                               
26 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram                               
27 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom                          
28 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) High Road                              
29 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis                                    
30 Julien El Farès (Fra) Cofidis                                
31 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                                 
32 Jorge Azanza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      1.50
33 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                  
34 Clément Lhotellerie (Fra) Skil-Shimano                       
35 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                      1.59
36 Theo Eltink (Ned) Rabobank                                   
37 Iñigo Landaluze (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                   2.05
38 Johann Tschopp (Swi) Bouygues Telecom                     2.10
39 David Zabriskie (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30              
40 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole                        2.17
41 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre                              2.22
42 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre                             2.30
43 Vincent Jérôme (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                     2.42
44 Chris Froome (Ken) Barloworld                                
45 Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil-Shimano                        2.53
46 Iban Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi              3.01
47 Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis                               3.23
48 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre                                  3.45
49 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre                           4.43
50 Ian McKissick (USA) BMC Racing Team                       5.52
51 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale                        
52 Tony Martin (Ger) High Road                                  
53 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Crédit Agricole                         
54 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Team Milram                           5.56
55 Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano                          6.10
56 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank                                  
57 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel                            
58 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team                          
59 Christophe Rinero (Fra) Agritubel                            
60 Matej Jurco (Svk) Team Milram                                
61 Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Karpin Galicia                    
62 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Barloworld                            
63 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                         
64 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank                              
65 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC                              
66 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                   
67 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team                            
68 Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank                                    
69 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Française des Jeux                  
70 Bert Grabsch (Ger) High Road                                 
71 Nicki Sørensen (Den) Team CSC                                
72 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        
73 Kevin Ista (Bel) Agritubel                                   
74 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        
75 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                   
76 Jérôme Coppel (Fra) Française des Jeux                       
77 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                  
78 Steve Bovay (Swi) BMC Racing Team                            
79 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) High Road                         
80 David Millar (GBr) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                 
81 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                          
82 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                       
83 Florent Brard (Fra) Cofidis                                  
84 Benjamin Gourgue (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner          
85 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis                                 
86 Darren Lill (RSA) BMC Racing Team                            
87 Sebastian Schwager (Ger) Team Milram                         
88 Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld                            
89 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel                              
90 Kevin Neirynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner         6.21
91 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano                         6.57
92 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                    8.01
93 Josu Agirre Aseginolaza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi              
94 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Crédit Agricole                      
95 Piet Rooijakkers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                          
96 Adam Hansen (Aus) High Road                                  
97 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux                      8.34
98 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        
99 Alberto Losada (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                        
100 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis                                
101 Elia Rigotto (Ita) Team Milram                           9.00
102 Emilien-Benoît Berges (Fra) Agritubel                       
103 Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                     
104 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Crédit Agricole                         
105 Jonathan Garcia (USA) BMC Racing Team                       
106 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française des Jeux                 
107 Dominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram                             
108 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Slipstream Chipotle - H30          
109 Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil-Shimano                             
110 Jesús Cobelo Fojo (Spa) Karpin Galicia                      
111 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner         
112 Benoît Salmon (Fra) Agritubel                               
113 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank                                   
114 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner        
115 Mikel Gaztañaga Echeverria (Spa) Agritubel                  
116 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner           
117 Ian Stannard (GBr) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner             
118 Aitor Hernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi

General Classification after stage 2
1 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                               7.17.53
2 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank                             1.14
3 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux                 1.30
4 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                       1.36
5 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                  
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                     
7 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                      
8 Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC Racing Team                          
9 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis                                  
10 Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Team CSC                           
11 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre                                  
12 Egoi Martínez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                     1.40
13 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux                     
14 Iouri Trofimov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom                        
15 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      
16 Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                   
17 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC                          1.43
18 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom                          
19 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram                               
20 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                                 
21 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                               1.47
22 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre                              2.19
23 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre                             2.23
24 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale                     5.49
25 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Team Milram                           5.53
26 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team                         6.07
27 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank                                  
28 Kevin Ista (Bel) Agritubel                                   
29 Bert Grabsch (Ger) High Road                                 
30 Sebastian Schwager (Ger) Team Milram                         
31 David Millar (GBr) Slipstream Chipotle - H30                 
32 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Crédit Agricole                       6.38
33 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC                           8.10
34 David Herrero (Spa) Karpin Galicia                        8.17
35 Gustavo César Veloso (Spa) Karpin Galicia                    
36 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Barloworld                       8.21
37 Julien El Farès (Fra) Cofidis                             8.24
38 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) High Road                              
39 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole                    
40 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                      
41 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis                                    
42 Jorge Azanza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      8.28
43 Clément Lhotellerie (Fra) Skil-Shimano                       
44 Theo Eltink (Ned) Rabobank                                8.37
45 Iñigo Landaluze (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                   8.43
46 David Zabriskie (USA) Slipstream Chipotle - H30           8.48
47 Johann Tschopp (Swi) Bouygues Telecom                        
48 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole                        8.55
49 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank                                 8.57
50 Elia Rigotto (Ita) Team Milram                               
51 Chris Froome (Ken) Barloworld                             9.20
52 Vincent Jérôme (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                        
53 Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil-Shimano                        9.31
54 Iban Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi              9.39
55 Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis                              10.01
56 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre                                 10.23
57 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Crédit Agricole                      11.00
58 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre                          11.21
59 Ian McKissick (USA) BMC Racing Team                      12.24
60 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Crédit Agricole                     12.30
61 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team                      12.47
62 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        
63 Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano                         12.48
64 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Barloworld                            
65 Matej Jurco (Svk) Team Milram                                
66 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel                            
67 Christophe Rinero (Fra) Agritubel                            
68 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                         
69 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank                              
70 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                  
71 Nicki Sørensen (Den) Team CSC                                
72 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Française des Jeux                  
73 Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Karpin Galicia                    
74 Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank                                    
75 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                   
76 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                          
77 Jérôme Coppel (Fra) Française des Jeux                       
78 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis                                 
79 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) High Road                         
80 Florent Brard (Fra) Cofidis                                  
81 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        
82 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                       
83 Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld                            
84 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel                              
85 Kevin Neirynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner        12.59
86 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano                        13.35
87 Kim Kirchen (Lux) High Road                              14.06
88 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                       14.13
89 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                     14.26
90 Piet Rooijakkers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                      14.39
91 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Crédit Agricole                      
92 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux                     15.12
93 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis                                 
94 Alberto Losada (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                        
95 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                        
96 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Slipstream Chipotle - H30       15.38
97 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française des Jeux                  
98 Aitor Hernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                      
99 Benoît Salmon (Fra) Agritubel                                
100 Dominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram                             
101 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner        
102 Tony Martin (Ger) High Road                             18.19
103 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom              18.37
104 Benjamin Gourgue (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner         
105 Steve Bovay (Swi) BMC Racing Team                           
106 Darren Lill (RSA) BMC Racing Team                           
107 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                  20.28
108 Adam Hansen (Aus) High Road                                 
109 Josu Agirre Aseginolaza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi             
110 Emilien-Benoît Berges (Fra) Agritubel                   21.27
111 Jonathan Garcia (USA) BMC Racing Team                       
112 Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil-Shimano                             
113 Jesús Cobelo Fojo (Spa) Karpin Galicia                      
114 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner         
115 Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                     
116 Mikel Gaztañaga Echeverria (Spa) Agritubel                  
117 Ian Stannard (GBr) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner             
118 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner

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