It was business as usual in the Criterium International, as German Jens Voigt took his fourth overall victory and his rivals were left picking up the crumbs.
The final short, sharp time trial stage went to the 20-year-old Edvald Boasson Hagen (High Road). Already the winner of stages in the Ruban Granitier, the Tour of Normandy and the Tour of Ireland last year, this result bodes more than well for the promising young Norwegian in his first year in a ProTour squad.
But if the future looks good for Boasson Hagen, the present – of the Criterium International at least – belongs very much to Voigt.
Comfortable in the knowledge that riding so strongly in the morning hilly stage had all but netted him the race, the German took no risks in the afternoon, ending up 43rd on the stage – but first overall.
Just to emphasise CSC?s domination, Voigt?s team-mate Gustav Larsson finished second on gc with Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse D?Epargne) in third. Britain?s David Millar was 13th on the stage, 26 seconds down and 24th overall.
Voigt?s fourth victory overall puts him on a level footing in terms of Criterium International wins with Jacques Anquetil and just one short of Raymond Poulidor?s record of five.
?This race is made for me.? Voigt said afterwards.
?My big objective this afternoon was not to fall off. I knew that I had a big enough advance to not feel worried, so I almost braked to a total halt on the corners.
I don?t really chase records, although obviously it?s important to win a fourth time. To be honest, I was more pleased last year when I got a third win and drew equal to Sean Kelly – one of my childhood heros!?
|STAGE 3 RESULTS|
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) High Road 8.3km in 10min 16sec
2 Tony Martin (Ger) High Road at 7sec
3 Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) CSC at 13sec
4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse D?Epargne same time
5 David Zabriskie (USA) Slipstream at 14sec
13 David Millar (GB) Slipstream at 26sec
111 Ian Stannard (GB) Landbouwkrediet at 2min 18sec
Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC 7hr 29min 01sec
2 Gustav Larsson (Swe) CSC at 57sec
3 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse D?Epargne same time
4 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis at 1min 3sec
5 Laurens Ten Dam (Hol) Rabobank at 1min 8sec
24 David Millar (GB) Slipstream at 5min 41 sec
113 Ian Stannard (GB) Landbouwkrediet at 22min 46sec