Team CSC's German powerhouse Jens Voigt has claimed his third overall title in the Critérium International this weekend, equalling Sean Kelly's total of three victories in the 2.HC ranked French event. Kelly won the race in 1983, 1984 and 1987.
"This is a big deal for me, because growing up Kelly was a big hero of mine," said Voigt on team-csc.com. "Of course winning is always nice, but this particular race is special to me. It's short but still tough, it carries with it a lot of prestige and it never gets boring."
Voigt won the hilly 98.5km stage two on Sunday morning after escaping early on the first climb up Mont Malgré Tout with Gorazd Stangelj (Lampre) and Sébastien Joly (Française des Jeux).
The German ended the stage with a relatively comfortable overall lead of 48 seconds and kept most of it, finishing a solid seventh in the final stage time trial. Swedish rider Thomas Lövkvist (Francaise des Jeux.) Lövkvist won the 8.3-kilometre test ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne).
"I didn't relax at any point - I gave it everything I had in me, but of course I was more careful in the turns than I would've been if the margin hadn't been that big," said Voigt. "And I have to admit that I was a tiny bit tired after being in a break for such a long time this morning."