Skil-Shimano’s Simon Geschke scored his first win as a professional, outsprinting the field at the second stage of the Critérium International, a 75-kilometer circuit race in Porto Vecchio on the island of Corsica.
Leopard-Trek’s Frank Schleck finished in the main field and continues to lead the overall standings.
The stage is the first of two held on Sunday and the race will end with a 7.8km individual time trial in the afternoon.
Geschke captured his first pro success, outsprinting Murilo Fischer (Garmin-Cervelo) and Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun) to the line. Schleck maintains a 16-second lead on general classification over Movistar’s Vasili Kyrienka.
The peloton rolled out for an early morning start on spectacular roads around Porto Vecchio. As the race passed by Palombaggia beach at the 4km mark, five riders launched an early attack, which never managed to gain more than a one-minute advantage over the field.
The five – Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Rémy Di Gregorio (Astana), Yukihiro Doi (Skil-Shimano), Renaud Dion (Bretagne-Schuller) and Fabrice Jeandesboz (Saur-Sojasun) – were reeled in over the final 10km, with Jeandesboz the last of the break caught, at the 3km mark,
The full field charged to the line, with Skil-Shimano racing for position with Garmin as the American team worked to set up Fischer. Geschke launched his charge and edged out Fischer and Mangel at the line.
Schleck holds a small 20-second lead going into the final time trial and the three-stage event is expected to come down to the wire as riders race against the clock on Sunday afternoon.
Stage 2: Porto-Vecchio – Porto-Vecchio
- 1. Simon GESCHKE (GER) Skil-Shimano, in 1:43:10
- 2. Murilo Antonio FISCHER (BRA) Garmin-Cervelo, s.t.
- 3. Laurent MANGEL (FRA) Saur-Sojasun, s.t.
- 4. Florian VACHON (FRA) Bretagne-Schuller, s.t.
- 5. Arnaud MOLMY (FRA) Auber 93, s.t.
- 1. Frank SCHLECK (Luxembourg) Leopard-Trek, in 7:04:02
- 2. Vasili KIRYIENKA (Belarus) Movistar, at 0:20
- 3. Rein TAARAMAE (Estonia) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, at 0:28
- 4. David LOPEZ GARCIA (Spain) Movistar, at 1:08
- 5. Alexandre GENIEZ (France) Skil-Shimano, at 1:10