The two-day, three-stage Critérium International will be back to Corsica for the third year running.
Dubbed the mini-Tour de France because the race features a sprint stage, a time trial and a mountaintop finish, the Critérium International will showcase a deep field of 16 teams stacked with a mix of French and ProTeam squads.
Set for March 24-25, the race will also serve a preview of what lies in store for the grand départ of the 2013 Tour. Corsica is France’s lone region that has never hosted a stage of the Tour de France.
For 2012, the layout of the race has been switched around. Saturday will feature the race’s split stage (instead of Sunday), with a relatively flat road section in the morning in Porto Vecchio followed by a 6.5km individual time trial in the afternoon.
Sunday’s third stage will be a hilltop finish up the Col de l’Ospedale.
Teams for the 2012 Critérium International:
Euskaltel-Euskadi, BMC, Garmin-Barracuda, AG2R-La Mondiale, FDJ-BigMat, Team Sky, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, Colombia-Coldeportes, Team Type 1-Sanofi, Bretagne-Schuller, Cofidis, Saur-Sojasun, Europcar, Project 1t4i, Auber 93 and La Pomme Marseille
March 24, Stage 1: Porto Vecchio-Porto Vecchio, 89.5km
March 24, Stage 2: Porto-Vecchio, 6.5km (ITT)
March 25, Stage 3: Porto Vecchi to Col de l’Ospedale, 179km