Criterium International stage 1 ends in a sprint
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Criterium International stage 1 ends in a sprint

by VeloNation Press at 2:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Press Release
Team Saxo Bank's German Jens Voigt has previously won the French stage race four times after a shorter time trial on the last stage. In 2008 Team Saxo Bank conquered the two first steps of the podium with Jens Voigt first and Swedish Gustav Larson second. They were both present today, when the squad had to defend last year's victory in the team competition.

The peloton did 190 relatively undulating kilometres from Monthois to Charleville-Mézières. The last kilometer was slightly up hill, but not enough to prevent the sprinters from maintaining being favorites to win if the race was still together near the finish line.

And it was Jimmy Casper, who made a sprint to victory in the mass sprint of 55 riders on stage one.

Best man for Team Saxo Bank was last year's winner, Jens Voigt, who came in 18th place. Team Saxo Bank's Frank Schleck and Juan-Jose Haedo were also in the front group.

Tomorrow a short stage is waiting in the morning followed by a 8.3 kilometer long time trial in the afternoon.

"The day went by perfectly for us as we worked hard in the front of the peloton to catch the breakaway. Unfortunately, there was a crash five kilometres from the line, where many of our riders got caught in the second group, "said sports director Kim Andersen after the stage and added:" Tomorrow, we have go out and attack on the morning stage to distance the time trial specialists, such as Tony Martin, in order to win overall”.

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