2009 Critérium International Live Coverage

Critérium International: The peloton crosses the bridge at Revin during the hilly morning stage on Sunday.
The riders will climb Mont Malgré-Tout (by the white monument seen in the upper right of photo)
twice before the finish, break for lunch, then compete in the afternoon individual time trial.
Photo Copyright © Pete Geyer/www.cyclingfans.com

2009 Critérium International Official Poster

The 2009 Critérium International is this weekend, with as usual a stage for the sprinters on Saturday followed on Sunday by a morning stage for the climbers in the hills of the Ardennes and an afternoon stage for the time trialists.  Once again, the racing takes place to and around the city of Charleville-MézièresJens Voigt will be going for a record 5th victory in this event.

Critérium International: Jens Voigt is going for
a record 5th victory this weekend
Photo Copyright © Pete Geyer/www.cyclingfans.com

This is one of my favorite events to cover as a cycling photographer because it has a little of everything packed into 3 stages on a weekend.  If the weather is nice, which it rarely is, it can make for a very spectator-friendly weekend in the French Ardennes.  But a little rain doesn't hurt and if you're visiting the area, the place to stay is in the village of Revin where you can reach the Mont Malgré-Tout climb (the riders go by twice in the Sunday morning stage) in just minutes by foot from your hotel room.  Alas, live coverage is limited as even in France the Saturday stage is not live on French TV; only the Sunday afternoon Time Trial is being broadcast live this year.  If we find a live stream, we'll post it.  Race organizer A.S.O. typically has a live ticker for each stage but at this time it is unclear if they will even have that this year.  We'll post what we find tomorrow.  Oh, and Stage 1 Saturday departs Monthois at 12:15 CET (7:15am U.S. Eastern).  -Pete

Click image to enlarge animation and
for photographer's anecdote

Official Website
Start List
(Voigt, Haedo, A. Schleck, F. Schleck, Pereiro, El Fares, Brajkovic,
Casar, Le Mevel, Wiggins, Dean, Duggan, Pate, Peterson, Barry,
Martin, Karpets, Botcharov, Horrach, Nocentini, Roche, Cruz,
Moos, Moreau, Feillu, Astarloza, Fedrigo, Casper, LHotellerie)