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  #1  
Old 01-18-12, 16:25
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Default The European season starts: GP d'Ouverture & Étoile de Bessèges

As (nearly) every year, the European road season starts in lovely southern France.

24th Grand Prix cycliste d'Ouverture "La Marseillaise"

29 January
UCI 1.1
148 km





2011:

1 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ 3:30:55
2 Sylvain Georges (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93 0:02:38
3 Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil - DCM Procycling Team 0:02:43
4 Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team Type 1
5 Artur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
6 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
7 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Vacansoleil - DCM Procycling Team
8 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ
9 Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Velo Club La Pomme-Marseille
10 Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis le Crédit en Ligne

42th Étoile de Bessèges

1 - 5 February
UCI 2.1


stage 1: Beaucaire - Bellegarde, 148 km
stage 2: Nîmes - Saint Ambroix, 149 km
stage 3: Grand Prix de Besseges, 152 km
stage 4: Grand Prix C.C. Rhône Ceze Landguedoc, 150 km
stage 5a: Grand Prix d'Ales en Cevennes, 82 km
stage 5b: Alés Quai Boissier de Sauvages - Site de l’Ermitage (ITT), 9,7 km

Find a detailed list of the stages here.

2011:

1 Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 17:46:10
2 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:07
3 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
4 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ 0:00:15
5 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:00:19
6 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:20
7 Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
8 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
10 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:23

There's already a first start list for Bessèges. GP d'Ouverture will most likely be quite the same with some minor changes.

What to expect?

- three to four sprint wins by Kittel
- two to three second places for Marcato
- Nico Eeckhout winning a stage, like every year

Can't wait for the action to start.
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Old 01-18-12, 17:00
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Nice work.
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Old 01-18-12, 17:08
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Still 10 days away
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Old 01-23-12, 21:35
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FDJ-Big Mat for GP d'Ouverture:

Arnaud Gérard
Anthony Geslin
Arnold Jeannesson
Rémi Pauriol
Cédric Pineau
Thibaut Pinot
Arthur Vichot
Kenny Ellisonde

This is Kenny Ellisonde's pro debut. I'm looking forward to it!
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Old 01-24-12, 11:55
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Thanks for the maps! I will try to go watch the GP de la Marseillaise and maybe the first or second stage of Etoile de Bessèges.

I have never followed these races much so I don't know what to expect but it should be fun. I see the arrivée is at the Stade Vélodrome, that's pretty accessible and easy to find so I'll probably go there
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Old 01-24-12, 12:02
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I have Hubert dupont riding for my cq team.
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Old 01-24-12, 15:18
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Very nice... I enjoy how this forum has evolved to get more people more interested in the 'minor' races. Even if the pros kind of use these races for warmup (check out the hotly contested sprint from last year at the end of this clip), it's exciting as a cycling fan to see others interested in the start of the season. Thanks!
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Old 01-24-12, 15:29
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All I saw was "Col" and "Galibier" and I went but then I noticed the "petit".
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Old 01-24-12, 15:34
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Quintana on the start list for Marseille

Also looking forward to Ponzi and Pinot
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Old 01-25-12, 00:50
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Marseille always reminds me of when they send Gilbert the wrong way in the final making him lose. Can't remember what year it was though.
Anyway, I like these small French races. Probably some French dude that will win. Is Offredo free to ride or have they banned him already?
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horrible. boonen just the same guy as years before and this course is too hard for him. that's why he rode like a coward there were at least 3 guys stronger than boonen today and none of them won: sagan, ballan, pozzato
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Goss will woop boonens candy ass in a sprint he cares about, any day of the week
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