Luxembourger Frank Schleck gave his Leopard-Trek squad its first overall classification win, coming out on top in the two-day, three-stage Criterium International in Corsica on Sunday.
Schleck won the opening mountainous road stage on Saturday, and maintained his overall lead in Sunday morning’s short criterium stage and afternoon individual time trial. Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar) placed second overall, with Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) in third.
It was a double stage win for Germany on Sunday, with sprinter Simon Geschke (Skil-Shimano) winning the crit and Andreas Kloden (Radioshack) taking the stage three time trial.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins (Sky) placed second in the TT, four seconds behind Kloden. It’s the second major time trial this season that Wiggins has come runner-up – he was second behind overall winner Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) in Paris-Nice’s stage six test against the clock on March 11.
Sky Sports director Marcus Ljungqvist reflected on Wiggins’ narrow miss on Sunday: “That’s how it is, Brad did a great ride. A win would have been nice but that is just bike racing.”
“I think he was happy with his time in general, he said he didn’t feel great but he thinks maybe he lost that little extra that he needed to win it.
On Wiggins’ Sky team-mate Alex Dowsett, who placed 22nd in the TT, Ljungqvist said: “Alex showed again that he has time trialling form and for sure he will be even better after a few more years.”
“There is a learning curve for him but he has done a really good job for the team and I think he will be even stronger in the future.”
Criterium International 2011, stage two: Porto-Vecchio 75km criterium
1. Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil-Shimano
2. Murilo Fischer (Bra) Garmin-Cervelo
3. Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
4. Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller
5. Arnaud Molmy (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93
Criterium International 2011, stage three: Porto-Vecchio 7km time trial
1. Andreas Kloden (Ger) Radioshack
2. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 4 secs
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard-Trek at 10 secs
4. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Cervelo at 14 secs
5. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Cervelo at 15 secs
22. Alex Dowsett (GB) Sky at 29 secs
54. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 44 secs
Final overall classification
1. Frank Schleck (Lux) Leopard-Trek
2. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar at 13 secs
3. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis at 30 secs
4. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil-Shimano at 1-14
5. Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack at 1-15
41. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 9-28
Simon Geschke wins stage two
David Zabriskie in the final time trial
Time trial winner Andreas Kloden
Time trial runner-up, Britain’s Bradley Wiggins
Final podium (l-r): Rein Taaramae (third), Frank Schleck (winner) and Vasil Kiryienka (second)