What's Cool In Road Cycling

Criterium International: Stage 1 To Nazon

Damien Nazon, from the Brioches La Boulangиre team has taken out the first stage of the Criterium International race, starting and finishing in Charleville-Mйziиres.

He lead home a big bunch sprint after a 187 km loop through the countryside of north-east France, while defending champion Alberto Martinez finished 6th.

The Criterium International is yet another race run by the Sociйtй du Tour de France, meaning that we can be guaranteed that we’ll see shed loads of attacking from teams like Phonal, Euskaltel and, particularly, Milaneza-MSS (Portugal), who have pledged to dynamite every race they take part in between now and May, to try and snare an invite to the biggest show in cycling.

Damien Nazon won’t win the overall, but a result like this always looks good on the palmares. Nazon doesn’t quite have the all-around capabilities to hang on in this 2-day, 3-stage race. Why not?

Because tomorrow, the race hits the hills with no fewer than 9 climbs in a short 98 km stage, then a final 8.3 km time trial through Charleville-Mйziиres, which ought to decide the outcome.

Last year, a slightly frustrated Mr L. Armstrong, from Texas, was pipped by less than a second to the overall win by Euskaltel’s Alberto Martinez. Lance isn’t taking part this year – USPS (presented by Berry Floor, remember!) have skipped the event.

Look out tomorrow for Moreau, Hamilton, Virenque and recent champions Jens Voight (winner, 1999) and Rik Verbrugghe (winner, 2001)

Criterium International (UCI 2.1)
Stage 1 Result Charleville-Mйziиres – Charleville-Mйziиres 187.5km

1 Damien Nazon (Fra) Brioches La Boulangиre 4.30.47 (41.5 km/h)
2 Aurйlien Clerc (Swi) Quick.Step-Davitamon same time
3 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner ”
4 Allan Davis (Aus) O.N.C.E.-Eroski ”
5 Jimmy Casper (Fra) FDJeux.com ”
6 Jose Alberto Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi ”
7 Laurent Brochard (Fra) AG2r Prйvoyance ”
8 Ludovic Auger (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93 ”
9 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon ”
10 Michaлl Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC ”

21 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC ”
24 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Crйdit Agricole ”
47 Bradley Mc Gee (Aus) FDJeux.com ”
55 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis, Le Crйdit par Tйlйphone ”

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