Schleck wins Criterium
Franck Schleck (AP Photo)
Porto-Veccho - Luxembourg rider Frank Schleck clinched the Criterium international race on Sunday after the third and final stage, a 7.8km time-trial through the streets of Porto-Veccho.
The 30-year-old Leopard rider - older brother of two-time Tour de France runner-up Andy - had laid the foundation for his victory in an impressive mountain stage win on Saturday.
Schleck finished joint 12th in Sunday's stage, won by German veteran Andreas Kloden, but his main rivals for the overall victory failed to gain enough time on him.
He lost just seven seconds to Belarus runner-up Vasil Kiryienka and actually gained two seconds on third-placed Estonian Rein Taaramae.
It was Schleck's first win since taking the Tour of Switzerland and his national title in June last year - the two-time Tour de France stage winner then saw his hopes in last year's 'Grand Boucle' end prematurely when he broke his collarbone on the third stage.
Criterium international results after Sunday's third and final stage, a 7.8km time-trial:
1. Andreas Kloden (GER) Radioshack 8min 46.79sec, 2. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) at 4sec, 3. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) 10, 4. David Zabriskie (USA) 14, 5. Andrew Talansky (USA) 15, 6. Jerome Coppel (FRA) 16, 7. Maxime Monfort (BEL) same time, 8. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR) 17, 9. Tiago Machado (POR) 20, 10. Anthony Roux (FRA) 21
12= Frank Schleck (LUX) 24, 14. Samuel Sanchez (ESP) 25, 15. Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ) s.t., 16. Rein Taaramae (EST) 26, 52. Andy Schleck (LUX) 43, 54. David Millar (GBR) 44.
1. Frank Schleck (LUX) Leopard 7hr 13min 12sec, 2. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR) at 13sec, 3. Rein Taaramae (EST) 30, 4. Alexandre Geniez (FRA) 1min 14sec, 5. Tiago Machado (POR) 1:15, 6. Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) 1:16, 7. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) 1:19, 8. Pierrick Fedrigo (FRA) 1:23, 9. David Lopez Garcia (ESP) 1:25, 10. Sergey Lagutin (UZB) same time
13. Andy Schleck (LUX) 1:38, 16. Samuel Sanchez (ESP) 1:59, 19. Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ) 3:10, 22. Andreas Kloden (GER) 4:10, 41. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) 9:28, 99. David Millar (GBR) 29:55.