Voigt Wins Stage 2 of Criterium International; Takes Overall Lead
Jens Voigt (CSC), who won the 1999 Criterium International, leads this year's edition of the event. The German won Stage 2, a hilly, 98.5-km ride from Les Vieilles Forges to Montherme, in 2:32:19. He outsprinted teammate Frank Schleck and David Moncoutie (Cofidis).
The racing began early. At two km, Igor Abakoumov (Chocolade Jacques) and Guillaume Auger (RAGT-Semences-MG Rover) attacked. The bunch reeled them in, but Benoit Poilvet (Credit Agricole) and Constatino Zaballa (Saunier Duval) escaped. The peloton, led by CSC, kept the pair on a short leash, and the fugitives' advantage maxed out at 1:30 at 35 km. The bunch slowly pursued the break and reeled it in at the foot of Mont Malgre.
David Canada attacked on Mont Malgre. Jose Luis Rubiera (U.S. Postal Service-Berry Floor) led the pursuit. When Canada was overtaken, Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Schleck attacked, and Rubiera joined them. The attacks split the field.
When Schleck was caught, he attacked again on the Cote de la Roche aux 7 Villages. Voigt and Moncoutie joined him. While Schleck marked Moncoutie, Voigt jumped away for the stage win. Schleck pipped Moncoutie for second.
In the overall, Jens Voigt (CSC) leads Moncoutie and Schleck by 0:03. Stage 3 will be an 8.3-km time trial in Charleville-Mezieres. Voigt is a good performer against the clock. Will he ride well enough to win this year's Criterium International? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!