• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.


Étoile de Bessèges 2023 (February 1-5)

The stage races come thick and fast this week and all of them are televised too, although this one has major georestrictions on GCN. Either way, this is always a good race.


Stage 1: Bellegarde - Bellegarde, 160.7k

The same first stage as last year. We had echelons that day and it looks decently windy…


Côte de la Tour (2x):

Finish, featuring the same 90-degree left-hander at 80 metres from the line as last year:

Stage 2: Bagard - Aubais, 164.7k
The flattest stage, although the expected sprint is still somewhat uphill.


Côte de Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols:

Côte de Clarensac:

Stage 3: Bessèges - Bessèges, 169.3k
The classic one. The final circuit is done the other way round compared to last year, what comes before that looks slightly easier than thar


Climbs in order of first appearance:

Col de Trélis (2x):

Col des Brousses (3x):

Col du Grand Châtaignier:

Côte de Méjannes-le-Clap:

Stage 4: Saint-Christol-lès-Alès - Le Mont Bouquet, 145.7k
The queen stage.


Côte de Saint-Siffret:

Côte des Concluses:

Le Mont Bouquet (finish):

Stage 5: Alès - Alès, 10.7k
The classic final TT. Just like the first stage, it looks identical to last year’s version.


Site de l’Ermitage:
Got my eyes on Michael Leonard and Josh Tarling here. The former is part of a very talented group of Canadians, he can be a big player in stage races in the future. Joshie T has the engine to go so many ways, but he’ll always be a time trialist at heart. I think he could already push for top 20 here in Alès.
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
I'm confused - did the groups come together and then there was a new split?

No. Still 50 seconds between 2 pelotons (2nd peleoton chasing hard with Cofidis, EF and Arkea). But new crosswind section now so groups might split again.

Any big name caught behind in the echelons? I'm not watching.

Thomas, Vauqueling (after flat tire), Powless, Pinot.
No. Still 50 seconds between 2 pelotons (2nd peleoton chasing hard with Cofidis, EF and Arkea). But new crosswind section now so groups might split again.

Thomas, Vauqueling (after flat tire), Powless, Pinot.

It took me until just now to understand that there is no other group in front, what they call the "peloton" is the second peloton, and what I would call first peloton are the leaders for them...