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Germany's Jens Voigt (Team CSC) won the Critérium International for the fourth time, equalling Jacques Anquetil
By Hedwig Kröner Riding on the very comfortable time advantage he had achieved in the morning stage...
By Hedwig Kröner
Riding on the very comfortable time advantage he had achieved in the morning stage, German Jens Voigt had no problem saving his leader's jersey over the final time trial stage to score his fourth overall victory of the event. In the race against the clock, technical skills on a rainy day ruled and Norwegian specialist Edvald Boasson Hagen (High Road) was the one to navigate best around the 8.3 kilometre course.
"This afternoon, my primary objective was not to crash," admitted Voigt, who now equals Jacques Anquetil's four victories in the event. "I knew I had a sufficient gap I didn't have to worry about, so I went for it calmly. I almost took some corners standing still, to not take any risks."
The CSC rider was delighted to get a fourth trophy of the prestigious race. "It's important to have won it a fourth time, but I don't really look at the records. In fact, I was more touched last year when I equalled the score of Sean Kelly, one of my childhood heroes.
"This event is made for me. Throughout the years, I learned that I'm much more effective on short distances. If it's too long or too hard, I always lack something to make the difference. But here, I can defend my position on three stages – it is a format that suits me perfectly. I'll definitely come back next year!"
Then Voigt can try to equal the record of Raymond Poulidor, who won the Critérium five times (1964, 1966, 1968, 1971, 1972).
In the race against the clock, Team High Road had the upper hand for a long time, passing on the hot chair from Adam Hansen to Tony Martin, then to Edvald Boasson Hagen. The Norwegian TT champ had put such a good time on that even more experienced specialists like Bobby Julich (CSC), David Zabriskie or David Millar (both Slipstream) could not pass him. High Road placed three riders in the top ten.
Gustav Larsson completed the good result for CSC, finishing third on the stage and ending up in second overall.