Bennett and Pinot share the spoils in the first day of Criterium International

The 85th edition of the Criterium International kicked off with the usual short 90.5km morning stage around the city of Porto-Vecchio.

After a flat run along the coast, the riders reached the southernmost point of Corsica and then turned around to head back along flat roads towards the finish. There was a small categorized climb with 17km to go and from there it was a flat run back to the line where an uphill sprint awaited the peloton.

Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) finally took his first win of the 2016 season by coming out on top in the traditional uphill sprint that kicked off the 85th Criterium International. Perfectly led out by his teammates, he held off Rudy Barbier (Roubaix) and Romain Feillu (Auber 93) to claim his first win since last year’s Paris-Bourges.

In the afternoon 7km time trial, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) defeated Jerome Coppel (IAM) for 2 seconds, with his teammate Alexandre Geniez taking the third place in the stage. Pinot is now the leader in the GC and has the first chance to win Criterium International tomorrow in a stage with a summit finish on the Col de l’Ospedale.

General classification after stage 2:

1 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)


2 Jerome Coppel (IAM)


3 Alexandre Geniez (FDJ)


4 Moreno Moser (Cannondale)


5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R)


6 Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale)


7 Sam Oomen (Giant-Alpecin)


8 Matthias Brandle (IAM)


9 Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18)


10 Lawson Craddock (Cannondale)