Critérium International 2014 Favourites

Christophe Riblon Criterium International3 stages in 2 days, that's the Critérium International for you. Day 1 a sprinters stage and a time trial, day 2 a tough mountain stage. So a little bit of everything, just what an allrounder wishes. Multiple stage winner in the Tour de France , Christophe Riblon, is at the start, just like good old Andy Schleck. Cyclingstage.com looks at the favourites for the last race in March. (Slideshow route/profile)

Christophe Riblon
Always up for some action, the 33 year old Frenchman will want to show what he can do over the 2 days. In 2013 he won the super-combativity award in the Tour de France, along with a glorious victory in Alpe d’Huez. It was his second stage win in the Tour after he won a mountain stage to Port de Pailheres in 2010. Not a serial winner by any means, but when he wins he wins big and the GC in Critérium International may be next…

Andy Schleck
Andy Schleck…hmmm….. If the drive is there to revive his career than Critérium International would be a good place to start. Nibali withdrew at the 11th hour and no cycling hotshot is in the saddle in Corsica compared to previous editions. If he does harbour ambitions of winning the race, the former Tour winner will need to improve drastically on his form from the last two seasons, when the word ‘abandon’ became his middle name. Still only 28, the younger Schleck should be approaching his prime. Can he improve on 57th in last year’s edition?

Pretenders
Jérôme Coppel
French time-trialist with a good set of climbing legs. Has won the Tour of Murcia and finished 14th in the 2011 Tour. A good result in the time trial will boost his morale so he may be able to hang on in the closing mountain stage.

Leopold König
The Czech rider had his breakthrough last year by winning mountain stages in the Vuelta and the Tour of California. At 26 years of age, the climber could confirm his arrival to the big leagues by winning the closing stage in Corsica. If he does so, he would likely win the GC as well, just as Chris Froome did last year.

Tom Dumoulin
One of the many talented young riders surfacing in the peloton. The 23-year old Giant-rider is a time trialist with decent climbing skills. If he manages to race a time trial like he did in recent Tirreno-Adriatico, where he finished 5th, right after all the big names like Martin, Wiggins and Cancellara, then Dumoulin might be able to sit tight on the Col de l’Ospedaleride to Col de L’Ospedale and claim the overall win.

Critérium International 2014: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Andy Schleck


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