Julich takes Criterium International title

Bobby Julich takes his second major French title in two weeks thanks to victory in the final time tr

Bobby Julich takes his second major French title in two weeks thanks to victory in the final time tr
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Just a couple of weeks on from his success in Paris-Nice, Bobby Julich has added the Criterium International title to his palmars thanks to a narrow victory over CSC team-mate Jens Voigt in the decisive 8.3km time trial in Charleville Mzires. Sunday morning winner Thomas Dekker put in a great performance to take fourth place behind another CSC man, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, but it wasn't enough for the young Rabobank rider to stop Julich taking the overall prize. "It was as if my legs did all the work by themselves in the time trial. I could feel it was my day, even though the course was quite difficult due to the rain," said Julich afterwards. "It's as if I'm riding a wave after Paris-Nice, and I really feel I have the opportunity to make up for the years when nothing was going right for me. This proves you have to stay focused. Bjarne [Riis] has given me confidence, and also I'm part of a team, which is like one big family. I couldn't ask for anything more," Julich added. CSC team boss Riis was also happy with how things had gone. "Just like Paris-Nice, the Criterium International has been a big goal for us, and today was a fantastic culmination. This morning the team worked perfectly together, and then Bobby put the icing on the cake with a super time trial. I'm very happy on his behalf and also very proud of the team being so outstanding in the time trial. It comes as no surprise to me, and it promises well for the upcoming objectives," said Riis. Stage 3, Charleville Mzires time trial 1 Bobby Julich (USA) CSC 8.3km in 10.05 (49.38kph) 2 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC 0.03 3 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) CSC 0.11 4 Thomas Dekker (Hol) Rabobank 5 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 0.12 6 Jos Alberto Martinez (Spa) Agritubel 0.17 7 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 0.18 8 David Blanco (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 9 Brian Vandborg (Den) CSC 0.22 10 Joost Posthuma (Hol) Rabobank 0.23 14 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Crdit Agricole 0.31 15 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Final overall 1 Bobby Julich (USA) CSC 7.12.08 2 Dekker 0.08 3 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) Liberty Seguros 0.23 4 Ivan Basso (Ita) CSC 0.50 5 Voigt 1.28 6 Plaza 1.43 7 Blanco 8 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 1.57 9 Martinez 2.06 10 Arvesen 2.09 - In similar circumstances to Tom Boonen yesterday at the GP E3, world champion Oscar Freire gave a significant signal about the quality of his form at the moment when, like Boonen, he did not wait for a final bunch sprint at the Brabantse Pijl, but broke away to record an impressive victory. In a group of about 15 riders that formed with 40km remaining, Freire went on the attack 20km from home, and only Marc Lotz and Axel Merckx managed to get across to him. There was only likely to be one winner in a sprint between the three, and Freire duly delivered Spain's first win in this race and a significant signal before next weekend's Tour of Flanders. 1 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 198km in 4.38.56 2 Marc Lotz (Hol) Quick Step 3 Axel Merckx (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 4 Wim Van Huffel (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 0.39 5 Karsten Kroon (Hol) Rabobank 6 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 7 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Quick Step 8 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Ag2r 9 Vladimir Goussev (Rus) CSC 10 Sbastien Joly (Fra) Crdit Agricole
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