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The Étoile de Bessèges (English: Star of Bessèges) is an early-season five-day road bicycle racing stage race held annually around Bessèges, in the Gard department of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. First organized in 1971 as a one-day race, it became a stage race run over five days in 1974. Since 2005, it is on the calendar of the UCI Europe Tour as a 2.1 event and features as the earliest stage races of the European season.[1]

Étoile de Bessèges
DateEarly February
RegionGard department,
English nameStar of Bessèges
Local name(s)Étoile de Bessèges (in French)
CompetitionUCI Europe Tour
TypeStage race
Web Edit this at Wikidata
First edition1971 (1971)
Editions49 (as of 2019)
First winner Jean-Luc Molineris (FRA)
Most wins Jean-Luc Molineris (FRA)
 Jo Planckaert (BEL)
 Jérôme Coppel (FRA)
(2 wins)
Most recent Christophe Laporte (FRA)

The Étoile de Bessèges is the first of several stage races held in the hilly South of France in February, preceding La Méditerranéenne, the Tour du Haut Var and the Tour La Provence.[2] These early-season races are competed mainly by French teams and are considered preparations for Paris–Nice, the first European World Tour event in March.[2]


Rider Team
1971   Jean-Luc Molineris (FRA) Sonolor-Lejeune
1972   Jean-Luc Molineris (FRA) Sonolor
1973   Robert Mintkiewicz (FRA) Sonolor
1974   Jacques Esclassan (FRA) Peugeot-BP-Michelin
1975   Patrick Beon (FRA) Peugeot-BP-Michelin
1976   Maurice Le Guilloux (FRA) Gan-Mercier
1977   Willy Planckaert (BEL) Maes-Mini Flat
1978   Dietrich Thurau (GER) IJsboerke-Gios
1979   Jacques Michaud (FRA) Flandria–Ça va seul
1980   Franky De Gendt (BEL) TI–Raleigh
1981   Jan Raas (NED) TI–Raleigh
1982   Cees Priem (NED) TI–Raleigh
1983   Bert Oosterbosch (NED) TI–Raleigh
1984   Eddy Planckaert (BEL) Panasonic
1985   Guy Nulens (BEL) Panasonic
1986   Niki Rüttimann (SUI) La Vie Claire
1987   Ronan Pensec (FRA) Z-Peugeot
1988   Adrie Van Der Poel (NED) PDM-Concorde
1989   Etienne De Wilde (BEL) Histor-Sigma
1990   Frans Maassen (NED) Buckler
1991   Ad Wijnands (NED) Team Telekom
1992   Beat Zberg (SUI) Helvetia
1993   Armand De Las Cuevas (FRA) Banesto
1994   Jean-Paul van Poppel (NED) Festina–Lotus
1995   Sergei Oetsjakov (UKR) Polti–Granarolo–Santini
1996   Ján Svorada (CZE) Panaria-Vinavil
1997   Patrice Halgand (FRA) Festina–Lotus
1998   Jo Planckaert (BEL) Lotto–Mobistar
1999   David Lefèvre (FRA) Casino–Ag2r Prévoyance
2000   Jo Planckaert (BEL) Cofidis
2001   Nico Eeckhout (BEL) Lotto–Adecco
2002   Robbie McEwen (AUS) Lotto–Adecco
2003   Fabio Baldato (ITA) Alessio
2004   Laurent Brochard (FRA) AG2R Prévoyance
2005   Freddy Bichot (FRA) Française des Jeux
2006   Frederik Willems (BEL) Chocolade Jacques
2007   Nick Nuyens (BEL) Cofidis
2008   Iouri Trofimov (RUS) Bouygues Télécom
2009   Thomas Voeckler (FRA) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
2010   Samuel Dumoulin (FRA) Cofidis
2011   Anthony Ravard (FRA) Ag2r–La Mondiale
2012   Jérôme Coppel (FRA) Saur–Sojasun
2013   Jonathan Hivert (FRA) Sojasun
2014   Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE) Giant–Shimano
2015   Bob Jungels (LUX) Trek Factory Racing
2016   Jérôme Coppel (FRA) IAM Cycling
2017   Lilian Calmejane (FRA) Direct Énergie
2018   Tony Gallopin (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale
2019   Christophe Laporte (FRA) Cofidis


  1. ^ "Etoile de Bessèges - Et. 5 : Les réactions". (in French). Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b "News shorts: New French stage race planned for February". Cycling News. Retrieved 22 February 2016.

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