It’s been in existence since 1932 and been won by some of the biggest names in cycling, but the Critérium International is no more. Organisers ASO have announced the end of the event after 85 editions, thus marking the end of an era.
The news was announced on Friday and was due in part to the decision by the current hosts in Corsica not to continue their backing.
“After seven years of excellent collaboration with the city of Porto-Vecchio, host city of the 100th Tour de France in 2013, Amaury Sport Organisation and the representatives of the community have decided to not renew their agreements concerning the Critérium International,” said ASO in a statement. “However, the relationships that have developed over time will continue to produce cycling related events.”
These will unfortunately not extend to a return of the Critérium International, which appears to be facing permanent cessation.
ASO said that it had taken the decision to call it a day as regards the running of the race. It cited a stacked calendar as the main reason.
“While the winners have been of the highest quality, the peloton has seen a drop in density, due to the number of events taking place at this time of the season.”
News of Criterium International's demise comes just days after Madiot's warning that WorldTour threatens the future of smaller French races
— Peter Cossins (@petercossins) November 18, 2016
Bitterest of disappointments to lose the Crit International. It was a great race and a great format.
— Jeremy Whittle (@jeremycwhittle) November 18, 2016
Past winners of the race include Louison Bobet, Jacques Anquetil, Raymond Poulidor, Bernard Thévenet, Bernard Hinault [when it was called the Critérium National de la Route – ed], plus Laurent Fignon, Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche, Miguel Indurain, Laurent Jalabert, Chris Boardman, Bobby Julich, Ivan Basso, Frank Schleck, Cadel Evans and Chris Froome.
Thibaut Pinot beat Pierre Latour to win this year’s edition. Emile Idée, Poulidor and Jens Voigt share the record of five overall wins.