Upon leaving Porto-Vecchio riders head for the southern tip of Corsica and from there take a north-westerly loop back towards Porto-Vecchio.
The climbing begins 54 kilometres in, but the first three ascents are merely for stretching the legs. Côte de Roccapina is a 2.7 kilometre climb at 3.8%. Next up is the Côte d’Orasi (4.4 kilometres, 5%) and Côte de Viggianello (4.7 kilometres, 5.2%).
Things get more serious at the bottom of Col de Sainte-Lucie-de-Tallano, a 10.2 kilometre climb at 6%, crested after 116 kilometres of racing. Up next is the Col de Bacinu, a 10.1 kilometre climb with an average gradient of 4.5%. The summit is reached after 135 kilometres.
On the long descent to Porto-Vecchio riders with good legs will look to be at the front for the final climb, the Col de l’Ospedale. The climb opens abruptly upon crossing Porto-Vecchio. The ascent is 14.1 kilometres long with an average gradient of 6.2 %. The steepest section of 10.4% begins 2 kilometres from the top.
Last year Chris Froome (image) launched his deciding attack 5 kilometres from the finish line and had already sewn up victory before the steeper section. Behind him, Richie Porte continued the Sky party by launching his own attack with 2 kilometres left. He finished 30 seconds down on Froome with Bauke Mollema arriving next at 45 seconds, along with Jean-Christophe Péraud and Tejay van Garderen.
The final podium of the 2013 Critérium International was occupied by Froome, Porte and Van Garderen. 2014 will have three new riders in their place since they are not participating.
This last stage starts at 11:45 (CET) and the finish is expected 5 hours later.
Critérium International 2014 stage 3: Images and more!
Click on the images to zoom.