The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) announced today that it will continue to run the Critérium International stage race in Corsica for the next three years, through to 2013.
“Since the race formula won over not only the riders but also the organisers, the representatives of the local authorities involved and the Corsican public,” Tour de France Race Director Christian Prudhomme told French sports paper L’Equipe, “an agreement has been signed for the next three editions of this three-stage road race.”
Prudhomme travelled to the Porto-Vecchio on the southeast tip of Corsica to confirm the agreement with the town’s mayor, Georges Mela.
For the first time since the Tour of Corsica in the 1980s, this year the Critérium International brought top level racing back to France’s biggest island. The race based itself in Porto-Vecchio for its three stages.
The Brits dominated the second day: Team Sky’s Russell Downing won the morning stage in a sprint and Garmin’s David Millar win the time trial in the afternoon. Frenchman Pierrick Fédrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) won the overall classification.
The race next year, March 26 and 27, will use the same format as it has since 1932: one mountain stage, one flat stage and one short time trial.
Prudhomme’s announcement adds weight to the rumours that the 2013 Tour de France will visit Corsica for the first time in its 107-year history. Corsica is bidding to host the start of the race. The Tour de France starts in Vendée next year and in Liège, Belgium, in 2012.