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Murrjt

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48th Etoile de Bessèges
« on: January 06, 2018, 12:52 »


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



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



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



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



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



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

:web

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
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: 48th Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #1 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. :)
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