After 85 editions, the Criterium International has come to an end with the 2016 race the last to be held. Race organisers Amaury Sport Organisation cited a packed race calendar and the loss of backing of partners in Corsica for the decision.
In a statement, ASO explained: “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.”
First run in 1932 as the Critérium National de la Route, the race traditionally takes place on the weekend after Milan-San Remo. This year, WorldTour events Gent-Wevelgem and the Volta a Catalunya both clashed with the event.
Fan favourite Jens Voigt was one of three riders to win the race five times along with Emile Idée and Raymond Poulidor, who secured their wins back when only French riders could take part.
The last seven editions have all taken place in Corsica with Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Cadel Evans among the victors. Jean-Christophe Péraud won in 2014 and 2015 with countryman Thibaut Pinot becoming the final victor earlier this year.
It seems the cancellation has come in part due to the decision by the current hosts in Corsica not to continue their backing.
The ASO statement said: “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. However, the relationships that have developed over time will continue to produce cycling related events.”