Jean-Christophe Peraud repeats as Criterium International champ

Jean-Christophe Péraud wins the final stage and repeats as champion of the Criterium International

Photo: AFP

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Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R La Mondiale) won Sunday’s final stage and repeated as overall champion at the Criterium International.

Peraud rode to victory in the 189.5km Col de l’Ospedale finale by 15 seconds ahead of Pierrick Fedrigo (Bretagne-Seche Environnment) with Thibault Pinot (FDJ) third a second later.

When the overall was tallied, Péraud had the top spot on the podium, 10 seconds better than Pinot, with Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing) third at 18 seconds.

Péraud was happy to have taken the victory, saying he was behind in his preparation and not confident of his chances.

“At the start, I thought that I would help Alexis Vuillermoz. But I attacked and I found myself alone,” said Péraud. “This victory is important after hard times and two surgeries this winter.

“In previous years, I was able to ride for the victory from January. I was late in my preparation and I didn’t expect to be able to win this race. It’s the starting point to continue to work hard with high spirits. I will participate in Vuelta a Pais Vasco with higher ambitions.”

Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin), who had held the lead going into the final stage, could manage only 38th on the day and slipped to 32nd overall at 4:40.

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