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t-72

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Etoile de Bessèges
« on: February 01, 2021, 21:36 »
Is it ok to make a big thread for a "small race"?

I have two reasons to do so:
1. this years edition is - given the line-up and the uncertainty concerning when things starts getting canceled perhaps the big event of the spring months.
2. I need to test if our calendar is working (seems empty and that's kinda boring).


Format traditionell
There isn't any big changes to the race format: it is a couple of not to long stages for the puncheurs and the sprinters followed by the now famous individual time trial (because the  _/ race profile sey the precedent for both the 2017 World championship ITT and the 2020 Tour de France team trial to Planche de Belles Filles.

Stage 1 Wednesday, February 3rd: Bellegarde-Bellegarde, 144 km - flattish
Stage 2 Thursday, February 4th: Saint-Génies-de-Malgoirès - La Calmette, 154 km  - flattish
Stage 3 Friday, February 5th: Bessèges - Bèsseges, 155 km - now they'll start with the hills
Stage 4 Saturday, February 6th: Rousson - Saint-Siffret, 152 km - more hills
Stage 5 Sunday, February 7th: Alès-Alès (l'Ermitage), 11 km __/ individual time trial, contra-le-monte

Participation exceptionnel!
If it wasn't for the fact that it is, after all, just an early season stage race, this year's #ineos lineup and the final time trial stage could make the headlines alone, as a single-team-internal competition.
#ineos Egan Bernal        (Former TdF winner and not bad in an uphill time trial)
#ineos Geraint Thomas (Former TdF winner and not bad in an uphill time trial)
#ineos Michal Kwiatkowski (Former world champion and not bad in an uphill time trial)
#ineos Filippo Ganna     (Current ITT world champion and not bad in a time trial, that was before he also won a mountain stage in the giro).

However, there are other strong teams present to, most notably the new , or reborn, classics-oriented
#ag2r and the classics rider from the old #ag2r Silvan Dillier (why on earth did they let him go if that was their strategy?) Now he is with #alpecin and they also bring Tim Merlier to give #bbhotels Bryan Coquard a sprint for the money - if he can get past the #intermarche van Poppels and #israel Rudy Barbier, so he can stage a knuckle fight with the boxer #arkea Nacer Bouhanni then he will face the champions past as in #trek Mads Pedersen and #qhubeka Giacomo Nizzolo.

Ok this line-up is a bit too much for a 2.1 sprint but here they go. I don't even bother mentioning all the classics ridsrs lined up here that may want to shake up the finale by attacking to avoid the sprint. A GC win should be within range for Kwiatkowski, Boasson Hagen, Michal Gogl, Philippe Gilbert, Tim Wellens, Michael Valgren, Alberto Bettiol and Greg van AVermaet / Oliver Naen if they manage to break away for a day in the hills and put some distance between themselves and the presumed better climbing/ITT/GC riders such as #ineos Thomas/Bernal, #trek Nibali/Mollema, #ef Uran Uran. Forgot to mention #bora Leonard Kämna and Grossssssschartner, #lotto John Degenkolb and #tde Niki Terpstra.
So many on-paper-good riders  :o but this is just an early season race in south of France, after all. Oh, yeah - I must mention one more : the early season surprise rider. Who can it be?`

My favorites for GC:
*** #ineos Mikael Kwiatkowski (typically starts season strong, and then slows down later)
**    #ineos Egan Bernal   (training schedule = old school #sky preparations: win all races before TdF), the early season surprise guy
*      #trek Bauke Mollema (cause Nibali won't move to the front before the Giro, ya'all know that), #tde Pierre Latour (for French honor you know), #ef Julien el Fares (the local dude. almost).

Allez allez pour la victoire!
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  • « Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 22:04 by t-72 »

    LukasCPH

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 01:08 »
    Is it ok to make a big thread for a "small race"?
    Yes!
    It feels a bit like the 2020 Sibiu Tour - anyone and everyone trying to get into the first 2.1 race.

    I hope the racing will be good.
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    just some guy

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    Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

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    t-72

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 07:11 »
    There will be a correction and some amendments later. Despite being located on the bring of the Rhone delta there is actually a steep uphill finish on the Bellegarde stage (stage 1). Not for the flat-fast men.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #4 on: February 02, 2021, 07:48 »
     As Search and I have mentioned in general chat, the race also has 2 hours of live coverage, each afternoon, on L'Equipe, starting tomorrow at 14-40CET.

    There are usually several working (grey area) source links for the channel, so it should be possible to watch. :cool
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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #5 on: February 02, 2021, 09:08 »
    it may also be on Sporza. The broadcasting times on their website don't quite fit (yet) with l'Équipe, but the "Ster van Bessèges" is listed at least.

    Here are more profiles, by the way ;)





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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    t-72

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #6 on: February 02, 2021, 16:33 »
    So, if every team brings all the captains, we need to look for clues who will be acting as captain, right?
    I think this indicates it will be  Mads Pedersen for #trek Trek  :D


    https://twitter.com/TrekSegafredo/status/1356639225991417856



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  • t-72

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #7 on: February 03, 2021, 11:33 »
    Withdrawal of team  #vlaanderen Topsport-Baloise-Vlaanderen due to suspected Coronavirus in the crew.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #8 on: February 03, 2021, 18:04 »


    Crash outside 3km, but everyone bar the front two and one straggler is at +2s?

    https://www.directvelo.com/actualite/86369/etoile-de-besseges-et-1-classements

    Quote
    The press release from the jury specifies that for the fall that occurred 6 km from the finish, a technical problem on the terminal of the last 3 did not allow all the riders to be identified, therefore they are credited with the same time as the first. of the peloton

     :S

    I don't understand what technical difficulties at the 3km marker has to do with a crash at 6km? Maybe there was an unseen crash in the last 3km, but it's all very dubious.
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  • Armchair Cyclist

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #9 on: February 03, 2021, 19:57 »
    Organisers' guilt about the cars on the road contributing to the accident, I suspect. 
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #10 on: February 03, 2021, 20:35 »
    It sounds like cycling’s equivalent of “better that 100 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man be punished.”
    So, on the off chance that somebody had a puncture inside 3kms, they preferred ruining the result of a rare opportunity to create any sort of time gap.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #11 on: February 03, 2021, 23:01 »
    I am a bit too busy for managing to follow the progress of the stages on a regular fashion, but here are at least the stage results, courtesy of FirstCycling:
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  • t-72

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #12 on: February 03, 2021, 23:24 »
    Stage 2 tomorrow  has a small, steep climb some 9 km from the finish line, and a gradually flattening profile after that. For a fast sprinter that can hang on up the 10% (probably most of them, because it is so short) - #arkea Bouhanni this time?
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #13 on: February 04, 2021, 16:29 »


    These are the only etoiles the riders are seeing after a crash-fest finale.
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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #14 on: February 04, 2021, 16:54 »
    Was very messy
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    Mellow Velo

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #16 on: February 04, 2021, 17:00 »
    Looking at the results it was Ethan Hayter and Patrick Gamper that came down with Julian Duval in the first crash.
    Danny van Poppel last man home though, having crashed on that final roundabout.
    So given Hayter was almost 10 minutes down, he must be in bad shape.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #17 on: February 04, 2021, 19:14 »
    There's no live coverage of the race on TV here, but when #tde Edvald Boasson Hagen goes down in the last roundabout, cycling suddenly makes the headline news for the first time this year. From what I saw, he must have had bad luck and hit a slippery patch or Total Direct Energie doesn't have the same quality tires as the rest do. He was the first man to go doen in that crash, for sure, and he should know how to do roundabouts now after 1213123 stages with one or several roundabouts close to the finish line. He even won a tour de France stage by doing roundabout much better than Nikias Arndt, a few years ago. He should know better, if anyone in the peloton!

    https://twitter.com/TDE_ProCycling/status/1357353182754725896

    https://twitter.com/TDE_ProCycling/status/1357384327819128834


    (In other news I don't know how much EBH plans to race this spring, it has been reported that his wife is quite pregnant, so if everything goes well there's soon a young one that also must be considered when all the travel plans and quarantines are planned. Sounds challenging.)


    Back to the results - is that #delko Barbier guy the brother of the #israel Barbier guy or are they not related, Leadbelly? If they are brothers, I guess this comes close to best family results ever?




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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #18 on: February 04, 2021, 19:19 »
    The Schleck brothers came 1st and 2nd in a Tour stage a couple of years ago. But yes, Pierre is the younger brother of Rudy.
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    Re: Etoile de Bessèges
    « Reply #19 on: February 05, 2021, 20:56 »
    From just looking at the stage results (and the start list), the chumps of the day would appear to be .....

     #ef #total



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