The Critérium International was formerly a three day road race designed as a mini Tour de France - a sprint stage, a time trial and a mountain stage - an all round test. The modern format remains similar in terms of the test but it's squeezed into two days with the first of those being a 'split stage' - a 90km road race in the morning followed by a short individual time trial in the afternoon.
Porto-Vecchio in the south of Corsica has been the race start/finish and it's also where the Grand Depart will take place on the 29 June. Being a classic it has attracted the big names and recent winners in Corsica include the Australian, Cadel Evans who won the Tour de France in 2011. The only Brit to win this race was Chris Boardman back in 1996 when it was held in mainland France. Irishmen Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche have won the event three and two times respectively and it's a shame Dan Martin can't be here this weekend given his current form!
The route is the same as in previous years and just checking Meteo France it looks like sun and showers saturday and more in the way of rain for sunday. Eurosport usually provide excellent live coverage of the race but their schedule at the moment is just showing sunday's stage only. I will tweet if this changes.
For cycling fans visiting Corsica the ride out from Porto-Vecchio to the Col de l'Ospedale at 965m and back through Levie is not only a great way to experience part of the Critérium route but also a great tour of the Alta Rocca region.
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