Theo Boss wins first stage of Criterium International
Last Updated: March 24, 2013 12:39pm
Theo Bos got off to a winning start at the Criterium International by outsprinting Nacer Bouhanni and Jonathan Cantwell on the first of Saturday's two stages.
The Blanco rider benefitted from a strong lead-out train as the opening leg reached its conclusion and then produced one of his trademark late digs to seal his fourth success of the season.
All the General Classification contenders were present and correct in a sizeable front group who crossed the line in Porto-Vecchio, with the likes of Chris Froome, Richie Porte (both Team Sky), Cadel Evans (BMC) and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) all expected to come to the fore in the afternoon's 6.5km time trial.
The 89km loop had followed the tried and tested tale of a sprint stage with five riders breaking away early in the day. Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Romain Hardy (COF), Yukiya Arashiro (EUC), Arnaud Gerard (BSE) and Antoine Lavieu (LPM) saw their lead extend to 3min 30sec in the opening 30km of racing, but that had dropped by two minutes as they crested the stage's sole ascent of the Cote de Conca.
With Argos-Shimano and FDJ leading the chase in the closing stages, the quintet's advantage continued to fall gradually and they were ultimately swept up with 3km remaining. From that point on it was a battle of the sprint trains and it was Blanco who emerged victorious after Bos proved too fast for his high-calibre rivals.
Stage one result
1 Theo Bos (Ned) Blanco, 2:02.43
2 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ, st
3 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff, st
4 Clement Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environement, st
5 Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos-Shimano, st
6 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun, st
7 Kevin Reza (Fra) Europcar, st
8 Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille, st
9 Fabien Schmidt (Fra) Sojasun, st
10 Justun Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille, st
1 Theo Bos (Ned) Blanco, 2:02.37
2 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ, +2secs
3 Yukiya Arashiro (Jap) Europcar, +3
4 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff, +4
5 Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, same time
6 Jeremy Roy (Fra) FDJ, +5
7 Clement Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environement, +6
8 Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos-Shimano, st
9 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun, st
10 Kevin Reza (Fra) Europcar, st