Ardennes, France (till 2009)|
Corsica, France (2010-2016)
|English name||International Criterium|
|Local name(s)||Critérium International (French)|
|Competition||UCI Europe Tour|
|Organiser||Amaury Sport Organisation|
|Editions||85 (as of 2016)|
|First winner||Léon Le Calvez (FRA)|
|Final winner||Thibaut Pinot (FRA)|
The Critérium International is a two-day bicycle stage race held in France every spring, typically the last weekend of March. It was formerly known as the Critérium National de la Route, first run in 1932. For many years it was considered a sort of French national championship and was finally opened to non–French cyclists in 1979. Bernard Hinault is the only cyclist to win the race in both its forms. The race has been won by some of the most famous names in cycling, including Jacques Anquetil, Sean Kelly, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain, Stephen Roche, Joop Zoetemelk, Laurent Fignon, Jens Voigt, Cadel Evans and Chris Froome.
History and route
The Critérium International is one of the few races in cycling, apart from the three Grand Tours, with no fixed attachment to a region. Upon its creation in 1932, it was held as a one-day race in the Vallée de Chevreuse, finishing in the Parc des Princes velodrome in Paris. From 1941 to 1943, two races were organized each year: one in Nazi-occupied France and one in the free French State. As of 1959 the race location changed every year. The edition of 1960 took place in Oran in French Algeria. From 1963 to 1966 the Critérium was held as a stage race for the first time, and again ever since 1978.
From 2001 to 2009 the race was organized in the Ardennes with all stages starting and finishing in or around Charleville-Mézières. In 2010 the race moved to the island of Corsica, around the coastal city of Porto-Vecchio. In 2014 the ASO agreed a deal to extend the race's stay until at least 2016. Because of its challenging route and usually mild weather conditions in early spring, the Critérium International is often contended by many general classification riders in their build-up towards the Grand Tours, notably the Tour de France.
November 18, 2016 the ASO announced that it will no longer organise the two-day event and race will not be held in 2017, ending 85-year run.
1997 horse incident
In 1997, a horse jumped over a fence and joined the peloton, eventually passing it, leaving the race only 20 km from the finish line. This scene was shown briefly in the movie Amélie, and is often mistaken for a scene from a Tour de France race.
*Results later voided for doping infringements
Riders in italic are still active.
|5||Emile Idée (FRA)||1940 + 1942 + 1943 + 1947 + 1949|
|Raymond Poulidor (FRA)||1964 + 1966 + 1968 + 1971 + 1972|
|Jens Voigt (GER)||1999 + 2004 + 2007 + 2008 + 2009|
|4||Jacques Anquetil (FRA)||1961 + 1963 + 1965 + 1967|
|3||Roger Hassenforder (FRA)||1954 + 1956 + 1958|
|Seán Kelly (IRL)||1983 + 1984 + 1987|
|2||Roger Lapébie (FRA)||1934 + 1937|
|Camille Danguillaume (FRA)||1946 + 1948|
|Louison Bobet (FRA)||1951 + 1952|
|Bernard Hinault (FRA)||1978 + 1981|
|Laurent Fignon (FRA)||1982 + 1990|
|Stephen Roche (IRL)||1985 + 1991|
|Erik Breukink (NED)||1988 + 1993|
|Bobby Julich (USA)||1998 + 2005|
|Jean-Christophe Péraud (FRA)||2014 + 2015|
Wins per country
| ||Ireland, Germany|
| ||Italy, United States, United Kingdom|
| ||Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland|
- "75th Critérium International".
- "Critérium International to stay in Porto-Vecchio in 2015 and 2016". Critérium International 2014.
- "ASO announces end of Criterium International". Cyclingnews.com.
- "www.cyclingnews.com news and analysis". cyclingnews.com.
- Zone occupée
- Zone libre