March 24, 2011

The 80th Critérium International begins this Saturday, kicking off an action packed weekend from the island of Corsica

This year’s Critérium International continues to bring one of the most exciting stage race formats to the cycling calendar, packing three stages into two days. The first stage, 198 kilometers from Porto-Vecchio to a 16km summit finish on the Col de L’Ospedal, will show everyone which riders will be battling for the overall race win. The summit finish isn’t the only difficulty on stage 1, check out the complete stage profile (wow!):

Stage two brings an explosive 75 kilometers to the table on Sunday morning. In professional stage racing, 75km stages are extremely rare, and can be some of the most difficult due to the extremely high speeds the peloton will race at. With the GC contenders recovering from a tough stage the day before, stage 2 looks to be a bunch sprint ahead of the third and final stage.

Stage 3 is a nearly pan flat individual time trial set to take place in Porto-Vecchio. At only 7 kilometers, this stage will be a tough one for the pure climbers who may be at the top of the GC race from the uphill finish in stage 1. Time trial experts David Millar and David Zabriskie will be using this stage to fine-tune their TT form, while Millar will look to defend his win here last year.

Look for an all-around rider, as opposed to a pure climber, to do well on stage 3 and possibly take the overall title. Team Garmin-Cervélo will be looking to Ryder Hesjedal as well as younger riders Andrew Talansky and Ramunas Navardauskas for strong performances.

Team Garmin-Cervélo’s full roster for Critérium International is:

Murilo Fischer, Ryder Hesjedal, Christophe Le-Mével, David Millar, Ramunas Navardauskas, Andrew Talansky and David Zabriskie.

Critérium International is always one of the most exciting weekends of the year, stay tuned to our team site for a full recap and photo, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter for the latest race updates!

More photos from previous editions of Critérium International:
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