Just completed at the end of March, bridging the gap between the Milan-San Remo, the season opening one day Classic and the Northern Cobbled Classics, this is a very unique event. Not unlike “your own local stage race”…a flat stage, a mountain stage (9 climbs in under 100 km), and then a closing 8.3 km TT. Promoted by the Tour de France organizers, the event always draws a top field and is usually a key early season test for those with later Tour de France aspirations.
Q1. Jens Voigt of Germany (Team Saxo Bank, formerly CSC) just won the race for the third time in a row and his fifth time overall. Remarkably, his TEAM has won the last seven editions in a row! Who were the other CSC race winners?
Q2: Despite the incredible success of Spaniards in stage racing, the Criterium International, begun in 1927, has only ever been won by THREE Spaniards…most recently Alberto Martinez of Euskatel-Euskadi (in front of none other than Lance Armstrong) in 2002. Who was the first Spanish winner and when?
Q3. The Criterium was not always very “International” and for many years was dominated by the French! Who was the first non-French winner and when?