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14th International Critérium de Levallois Preview

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A Scottish team has again been invited to ride the end of season event in France — the 14th International Critérium de Levallois – which will take place on Sunday 17th October. As always the race will be 60 laps of a 1.8 km circuit, a total distance of 108 kms (approx. 70 miles).

Critérium de Levallois
Robbie Hassan will be flying the flag for Scotland in France.

The activities start at 1:00 pm with the introduction of the many guests of honour, followed by a gentleman’s race, then the signing-on of the riders.

The main race starts at 3:00 pm, and should finish around 5:20 pm. A crowd of around 15,000 is expected.

This is the third year that there will be Scottish team, provided this time by the Glasgow Wheelers:

  • Robert Hassan
  • Jason Roberts
  • Dave Smith
  • Grant Stevenson
  • Rob Wardell

Team manger is David Lang.

The Scots will face stiff opposition – although the reigning World under-23 road race champion isn’t : on the start line this year.

The field has not been finalised, but it is expected to include teams from Germany (five times winner), Belgium (2 teams, one Flanders & one from Wallonia), Italy (winner in 2008), the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Scandanavia, Switzerland & Luxembourg.

Critérium de Levallois
The World Junior road race champion, Olivier Le Gac, is riding.

The remainder of the field will be French teams and individuals. We expect to have riders from the UCI Continental teams Big Mat/Auber & Roubaix/Lille/Metropole.

Critérium de Levallois
The Dutch team will include Peter van Agtmaal, the current Dutch “amateur” champion.

The “gentlemans’ race” will be contested by some of the guests of honour and by well-known French cycling journalists and TV personalities.

To get an indication of the scale of the event, there will be 55 police officers on duty, in addition to the 40 marshals. Posters are up on all the official notice boards & leaflets have been put through every letter box in Levallois.

For anyone interested in a weekend in Paris, including seeing the race, Levallois is only 4 kms from the Arc de Triomphe, and easily reached by Métro.

In addition to supporting the riders you would have the chance to meet many of the past stars of the cycling world, such as Tour de France winners Roger Walkowaik, Lucien Aimar, Bernard Thévenet & Lucien Van Impe, plus other names like Freddy Maertens, Roger de Vlaeminck, Raymond Poulidor & Raphaël Geminiani and many more. Also in attendance will be Alain Gallopin (directeur sportif for Radio Shack) and Cyril Guimard (directeur sportif of Bernard Hinault & Laurent Fignon).

With the cancellation of the Trophée des Grimpeurs, the critérium de Lavallois is now the biggest race in the Paris area, other than the final stage of the Tour de France. It is the only opportunity left to race around the streets of Paris. All the big races which made Paris the centre of the cycling world have been lost.

The Vélo Club de Levallois has a special place in the history of French cycling. It was founded in 1891, and for more than half a century was the basis of the French national team, frequently providing the entire team. The club has won 12 Olympic medals, several world championships, 150 French championships and riders who passed through its ranks won the Tour de France on 11 occasions.

Visit the race website for more details!

Martin Williamson
Martin is our Editor, Web site Designer and Manager, and concentrates on photography. He's been involved in cycling for over 42 years and has raced for many of them, having a varied career which includes time trials, road and track racing, and triathlons. Martin has been the Scottish 25 Mile TT and 100 Mile TT Champion, the British Points Race League Champion on the track, and was a prolific winner of time trials in his day, particularly hilly ones like the Tour de Trossachs and the Meldons MTT.

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