What's Cool In Road Cycling

Nazon Wins Crit Int’l Stage 1.

Nazon Wins Crit Int’l Stage 1.

Today’s first stage of the Criterium International, being held in the Ardennes region of northern France , was won La Francaise des Jeux’s Jean-Patrick Nazon. The stage finished in a bunch sprint, typical for the opening leg of this 3 stage event.

“It seemed just too easy. I gave everything in the final two kilometres. It’s good for the moral especially before the spring classics.” Nazon was reported as saying by Eurosport. He followed a perfect lead out by his Australian teammates Baden Cooke and Bradley McGee, as he took victory over second placed Angelo Furlan of Alessio and third placed Francois Simon (Bonjour) – last year’s Tour de France surprise yellow jersey.

Lance Armstrong and US Postal were also visibly active at the front, driving the pace for much of the race as the peloton reeled in a lone 155 km breakaway by Stephane Berges of the French AG2R squad.

Marco Pantani also showed his face at the front, in his active campaign to convince the Tour organizers to invite him back to this year’s “Grande Boucle”.

Tomorrow’s racing includes a 98.5 km hilly stage designed for climbers in the morning, followed by an approx 8 km TT in the afternoon.

For now, though, it’s time to kick back and enjoy a local brew from the Ardennes – perhaps a Kronenberg 1664 – that should be the ticket…

Results Stage 1: Charleville Mezieres: 192 kms
1. Jean Patrick Nazon (France) La Francaise des Jeux 4 hrs 52 min 26 Sec
2. Angelo Furlan (Italy) Alessio st
3. Francois Simon (France) Bonjour
4. Thor Husovd (Norway) Credit Agricole
5. Baden Cooke (Australia) La Fracaise des Jeux
6. Thomas Konecny (Czech Rep) Domo
7. Christophe Capelle (France) Big Mat
8. Guennadi Mikhailov (Russia) Lotto-Adecco
9. Torsten Nitsche (Germany) Saeco-Longoni Sport
10. Laurent Brochard (France) Jean Delatour

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