Étoile de Bessèges 2022 (February 2-6)

It's just a few years ago that this race attracted middling fields and had the majority of stages end in bunch sprints. No more, this is most probably the hardest route in its history.

Startlist

Stage 1


No, it's not the same finish as in previous years. While they still climb Côte de la Tour, that's not the hill they use for the finish. In addition, it looks like tomorrow will be windy and the 2020 race showed that the terrain is suitable for echelons.

Côte de la Tour


Final climb, heading left through a roundabout at 80 metres from the line so whoever makes it into the turn first should be winning the stage.


Stage 2


Every stage has some GC relevance and this is no exception, with a deceptively steep final ramp to the finish line.

Côte de Lasalle


Côte du Pradel


Plateau du Castellas (final climb)


Stage 3


The classic climbs of this race return to the finale of what was traditionally the queen stage. With the MTF the day after the racing may be less aggressive than usual but this should still be a good stage.

Côte d'Aubrias


Dieusses


Col de Portes


Côte de Tharaux


Col du Grand Châtaignier


Col des Brousses


Col de Trélis


Stage 4


The MTF, same as in 2020.

Côte des Concluses


Mont Bouquet


Stage 5


The traditional closing TT. They've changed the flat section completely compared to previous years, but the climb is still the same so it shouldn't make much of a difference.

Montée de l'Ermitage


The race is not on Eurosport, but will be broadcast by L'Équipe in France and RTBF in Wallonia.
 
It's just a few years ago that this race attracted middling fields and had the majority of stages end in bunch sprints. No more, this is most probably the hardest route in its history.

Startlist

Stage 1


No, it's not the same finish as in previous years. While they still climb Côte de la Tour, that's not the hill they use for the finish. In addition, it looks like tomorrow will be windy and the 2020 race showed that the terrain is suitable for echelons.

Côte de la Tour


Final climb, heading left through a roundabout at 80 metres from the line so whoever makes it into the turn first should be winning the stage.


Stage 2


Every stage has some GC relevance and this is no exception, with a deceptively steep final ramp to the finish line.

Côte de Lasalle


Côte du Pradel


Plateau du Castellas (final climb)


Stage 3


The classic climbs of this race return to the finale of what was traditionally the queen stage. With the MTF the day after the racing may be less aggressive than usual but this should still be a good stage.

Côte d'Aubrias


Dieusses


Col de Portes


Côte de Tharaux


Col du Grand Châtaignier


Col des Brousses


Col de Trélis


Stage 4


The MTF, same as in 2020.

Côte des Concluses


Mont Bouquet


Stage 5


The traditional closing TT. They've changed the flat section completely compared to previous years, but the climb is still the same so it shouldn't make much of a difference.

Montée de l'Ermitage


The race is not on Eurosport, but will be broadcast by L'Équipe in France and RTBF in Wallonia.
The stars in front of the names of the riders on the startlist suggest who is eligible for young rider competition, right?

Battle of youngsters Van Avermaet vs Mollema should be fun.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
It‘s cool that Ineos ride Besseges, and send Carapaz and Ganna. Besseges in the past was rather the race that the top teams and the big names avoided, for some reason.

I actually like these spring race weeks in France: Ouverture Marsellaise, Besseges, Mediterranean/Provence, Haut Var, Ardeche, Drome, Paris-Nice. Good also to see Roglic in Ardeche and Drome in a few weeks.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
It‘s cool that Ineos ride Besseges, and send Carapaz and Ganna. Besseges in the past was rather the race that the top teams and the big names avoided, for some reason.

I actually like these spring race weeks in France: Ouverture Marsellaise, Besseges, Mediterranean/Provence, Haut Var, Ardeche, Drome, Paris-Nice. Good also to see Roglic in Ardeche and Drome in a few weeks.
When the Spanish calendar was practically cancelled last February, Ineos got a late invite to this race under the condition that they would also go this year.
 
When the Spanish calendar was practically cancelled last February, Ineos got a late invite to this race under the condition that they would also go this year.
Thanks a lot, much appreciated :) - I didn‘t know that.

So I hope Ineos started to love this race, and will return year after year.

When writing these words, I suddenly remember Ineos in fact does even have a link to these races - or rather, Sky had: Tiernan-Locke was discovered in Tour Med and Haut-Var :)
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS