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Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: Murrjt on January 06, 2018, 12:52

Title: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Murrjt on January 06, 2018, 12:52
(https://s13.postimg.org/uh96hurgn/edb.jpg)

Created in 1971 the Etoile de Bessèges is now over 40 years old and its founder Roland Fangille with his small band of volunteer cycling enthusiasts could never have imagined that the race would become international and bring together a peloton worthy of the biggest races.

Until 1973 the race was run on a single day, then from 1974 a six-day stage race replaced the Grand Prix and the "star" began to shine. As the result of a new rule from the UCI the race was trimmed to five days in 1977 and Fangille responded by creating a single day race, the Grand Prix d'Ouverture, which was turned over to the newspaper La Marseillaise in 1989, leaving Fangille and his team to focus solely on the Etoile de Bessèges.

Many great names of the international cycling scene have written their names on the palmarès of the race: Jacques Esclassan, Dietrich Thurau, Jan Raas, the Planckaert brothers, Niki Rütimann, Adrie Van Der Poel, Beat Zberg, Etienne De Wilde, Sergei Outschakov, Jan Svorada, Yuri Trofimov, Thomas Voeckler, Samuel Dumoulin, Bob Jungels and last years 47th edition was won by Lilian Calmejane.

Magnificent stage victories have been recorded by great champions including Bernard Hinault, Laurent Fignon, Cyrille Guimard, Joop Zoetemelk, Gerrie Knetemann, Eric Vanderaerden, Charly Mottet, Régis Simon, Urs Freuler, Gilbert Glaus, Mario Cipollini, Wilfried Nelissen, Jaan Kirsipuu, Jean-Paul Van Poppel, Tom Steels, Richard Virenque, Luc Leman, Nacer Bouhanni, Marcel Kittel, Arnaud Démare, Alexander Kristoff and Bryan Coquard.

Today the cycling season begins in Australia or Argentina and continues in Dubai or Malaysia but the European season starts here with the Etoile de Bessèges, an essential race at the beginning of the year for riders and media alike.

Stage 1 - 31st January : Bellegarde - Beaucaire, 162.5km

(https://static.wixstatic.com/media/d6dcf8_101d73e8c6d047e6871803b9b063d7de~mv2.png/v1/fill/w_600,h_200,al_c,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/d6dcf8_101d73e8c6d047e6871803b9b063d7de~mv2.png)

Stage 2 - 1st February : Nîmes - Générac, 151.3km

(https://static.wixstatic.com/media/d6dcf8_14ea74c98bc54517a19f80ca638d5cdf~mv2.png/v1/fill/w_600,h_202,al_c,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/d6dcf8_14ea74c98bc54517a19f80ca638d5cdf~mv2.png)

Stage 3 - 2nd February : Bessèges - Bessèges, 152.6km

(https://static.wixstatic.com/media/d6dcf8_125eaea8805e4b359315291d11233971~mv2.png/v1/fill/w_600,h_255,al_c,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/d6dcf8_125eaea8805e4b359315291d11233971~mv2.png)

Stage 4 - 3rd February : Chusclan - Laudun L'Ardoise, 152.9km

(https://static.wixstatic.com/media/d6dcf8_5b3d483f10e44054886898acc703b327~mv2.png/v1/fill/w_600,h_189,al_c,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/d6dcf8_5b3d483f10e44054886898acc703b327~mv2.png)

Stage 5 - 4th February : Alés ITT, 10.7km

(https://static.wixstatic.com/media/d6dcf8_a44ad2e25a82480b98de76e0f12550e3~mv2.png/v1/fill/w_600,h_249,al_c,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/d6dcf8_a44ad2e25a82480b98de76e0f12550e3~mv2.png)

A fairly similar setup to last year with a couple of slight differences, the second stage looks a little tougher at the end although whether that is enough to stop a sprint finish is hard to say, and the time trial is a bit shorter, the hill at the end is the same but the flat run in is a kilometer or so less than 2017.

Often the time trial is the decisive stage however last year Calmejane's incessant attacking on the hilly 3rd stage won him the stage and enough time to hang on in the time trial (he came 2nd tbf) and take the overall victory.

With it being early in the season and so few names on the startlist it's hard to predict who will be in contention but if he does take part I'd be interested in seeing how FDJ neo-pro Benjamin Thomas performs.

Teams

 #ag2r #fdj
 #direct #cofidis #delko #fortuneo #wanty #wbva #bardiani #vlaanderen #cajarural #willems #rally #vital
 #roubaix #auber #murias #amore #cibel

Startlist (https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/etoile-de-besseges/2018/startlist)

:web (http://www.etoiledebesseges.com/)

Previous winners
2017   CALMEJANE Lilian *fr
2016   COPPEL Jérome *fr
2015   JUNGELS Bob *lu
2014   LUDVIGSSON Tobias *se   
2013   HIVERT Jonathan *fr   
2012   COPPEL Jerome *fr   
2011   RAVARD Anthony *fr   
2010   DUMOULIN Samue *fr   
2009   VOECKLER Thomas *fr   
2008   TROFIMOV Yury *ru

Live updates on the race will be posted here (https://www.directvelo.com/)
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Mellow Velo on January 09, 2018, 21:20
 Looks as if the race is going to be shown live for the first time.
All but stage one, on L'Equipe tv.

https://www.lequipe.fr/Medias/Actualites/L-etoile-de-besseges-et-le-tour-du-limousin-nouvelle-aquitaine-sur-la-chaine-l-equipe/865188

They are also adding other new races in a proposed 150 days of cycling. :)
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Murrjt on January 31, 2018, 13:09
A bit of housekeeping,  #rally were listed as starting but are not.

BOTD - Menten  #vlaanderen Dieleman #cibel Bagües  #euskadi

100 kilometers to go with a lead of just under 3 minutes from a #vital led peloton.
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Mellow Velo on January 31, 2018, 13:22
L'Equipe live schedule as follows:-

Feb 1st: 14-20 to 18-00cet (UK 1 hour earlier)
Feb 2nd: 14-40 to 18-00cet
Feb 3rd: 14-20 to 17-00cet
Feb 4th: 13-40 to 16-30cet
Feb 5th: Extended highlights of the final 2 stages. 10-15 to 14-35cet
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: L'arri on January 31, 2018, 13:39
Love that final TT. That was a fun day out. Four years ago already...

(http://i65.tinypic.com/2rnbyg1.jpg)

Also cool to see the younger years of some guys ...

(http://i63.tinypic.com/256ahqq.jpg) (http://i66.tinypic.com/aysubo.jpg) (http://i65.tinypic.com/jg0dxg.jpg)
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Murrjt on January 31, 2018, 15:22
Dieleman hung on until there were 5km left but the stage ending a sprint didn't seem in doubt. Sarreau #fdj won ahead of Boudat #direct

Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Murrjt on February 01, 2018, 15:28
The BOTD consisted of 6 riders, Jimmy Turgis #cofidis Combaud #delko Van Gestel  #vlaanderen Le Cunff #auber Idjouadiene #roubaix and Gabburo  #amore. They got a maximum lead of about 5 minutes which was steadily reduced and it looked like they would be caught easily enough although the time gap stayed around 20 seconds until only a few kilometers were left when they were joined by Di Bie #willems and Vanspeybrouck #wanty, however as the final kilometer came they were caught and Laporte #cofidis came up the inside of Capiot #vlaanderen and Coquard #vital to win despite what Manzin and Coquard initially thought.




(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DU9U6_PWkAEfPSs.jpg)
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: LukasCPH on February 01, 2018, 16:04
#cofidis came up the inside of Capiot #vlaanderen and Coquard #vital to win despite what Manzin and Coquard initially thought.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DU9U6_PWkAEfPSs.jpg)
When will they ever learn?! :lol
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Mellow Velo on February 01, 2018, 17:27
When will they ever learn?! :lol

I think we can call that a Coquard Coqup. :D
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Murrjt on February 02, 2018, 17:31
The break consisted of Hivert, Cosnefroy, Marchand, Di Gregorio and Kasperkiewicz who never got much of a lead and they were caught when the attacking started on the col de trellis, a group with Vincent, Cosnefroy, Gallopin, Dupont, Calmejane and El Fares got a small lead over a reduced peloton, some riders were dropped and some including Coquard made it over to the front but eventually it all came back together.

With about 30km to go Combaud attacked and was soon joined by Backaert and Van Gestel, they got an advantage of ~40 seconds and managed to hold on until the last 500 meters but were eventually reeled in and the sprint was won by Sarreau ahead of Boudat and Dumoulin. This stage was much less selective than last year and there were 75 riders in the bunch as opposed to 25 within 15 minutes when Calmejane won last year.

Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Murrjt on February 03, 2018, 16:43
Early on in the stage there was a break of 13 riders including last years winner Calmejane #direct they managed to get about half a minute ahead of the peloton but it all came back together pretty quickly. After that the BOTD was established with Di Gregorio #delko Marchand #cibel Antomarchi #roubaix and Devriendt #wanty the lead went up to three and a half minutes before starting to come down, with about 15km left Devriendt attacked and stayed out front alone until the last 5km when he was caught by a reduced peloton.

Just before the finishing line there was a rise and Anthony Turgis #cofidis attacked he was soon joined by Dupont #wanty who went around him and then De Bie #willems shot by the both of them to take the victory.

As mentioned the peloton was reduced (I think by echlons? I only saw the end live) and there were only 37 riders on the same time although looking at the results I'm not sure anybody who would have been competing for the overall win tomorrow missed out.

Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: search on February 03, 2018, 17:29
As mentioned the peloton was reduced (I think by echlons? I only saw the end live) and there were only 37 riders on the same time although looking at the results I'm not sure anybody who would have been competing for the overall win tomorrow missed out.

not really, I think. On the other hand: any idea who actually is going to compete for the win here?! :D

De Bie and Laporte are able to deliver a decent time trial, but those 10 seconds they gained on Gallopin and Chavanel (or even Gougeard and le Bon) are probably not enough. Anyone else with a chance?
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Murrjt on February 03, 2018, 17:41
I don't necessarily think he'll be in contention for the win but I am interested in seeing how Benjamin Thomas does but yeah the last four ones you mentioned plus Calmejane are the most likely.
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Mellow Velo on February 03, 2018, 21:18
 I've watched and enjoyed the last two stages.
 If they could join both those finishing circuit together they would be onto a winner.
As it stands, in fine conditions, neither quite hard enough make a significant selection.

 Regarding the echelons: looked extremely promising at one point, but the wind seemed to drop and didn't have quite the same effect.
Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Murrjt on February 03, 2018, 22:58
Start times (CET) - everyone outside of 20 seconds is in the spoiler thing.

Spoiler (hover to show)
14h49 ARMIRAIL Bruno #groupama
14h50 BALDO Nicolas #auber
14h51 MADOUAS Valentin #groupama
14h52 PAILLOT Yoann #auber
14h53 THOMAS Benjamin #groupama
14h54 SCHULTZ Nicholas #cajarural
14h55 BONNAFOND Guillaume #cofidis
14h56 CLAEYS Dimitri Cofidis #cofidis
14h57 LE CUNFF Kevin #auber
14h58 DELAPLACE Anthony #fortuneo
14h59 LE BON Johan #vital
15h00 TURGIS Anthony #cofidis
15h01 GOUGEARD Alexis #ag2r
15h02 WACKERMANN Luca #bardiani
15h03 OFFREDO Yoann #wanty
15h04 SERRANO RODRIGUEZ Gonzalo #cajarural
15h05 SISKEVICIUS Evaldas #delko
15h06 ISTA Kevyn #wallonie
15h07 EL FARES Julien #delko
15h08 GALLOPIN Tony #ag2r
15h09 BARTHE Cyril #euskadi
15h10 CHAVANEL Sylvain #direct
15h11 CALMEJANE Lilian #direct
15h12 CAPIOT Amaury #vlaanderen +20
15h13 HIVERT Jonathan #direct
15h15 VAN GESTEL Dries #vlaanderen
15h17 MENTEN Milan #vlaanderen +17
15h19 DUMOULIN Samuel #ag2r +16
15h21 DUPONT Timothy #wanty
15h23 DE BIE Sean #willems
15h25 LAPORTE Christophe #cofidis
15h27 COQUARD Bryan #vital +10
15h29 BOUDAT Thomas #direct +8
15h31 SARREAU Marc #groupama


Title: Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
Post by: Murrjt on February 04, 2018, 14:56
Gallopin #ag2r took the stage and overall victories fairly comfortably but really strong performances from Laporte #cofidis and Paillot #auber meant the former finished 4th on the day and the 10 seconds bonus he picked up on stage two meant he came 2nd overall, the latter finished 2nd on the stage and took the final podium place in the general classification.