Étoile de Bessèges

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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
Race details
DateEarly February
RegionGard department,
English nameStar of Bessèges
Local name(s)Étoile de Bessèges (in French)
CompetitionUCI Europe Tour
TypeStage race
Web sitewww.etoiledebesseges.com Edit this at Wikidata
First edition1971 (1971)
Editions52 (as of 2022)
First winner Jean-Luc Molineris (FRA)
Most wins Jean-Luc Molineris (FRA)
 Jo Planckaert (BEL)
 Jérôme Coppel (FRA)
(2 wins)
Most recent Benjamin Thomas (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]


Year Country Rider Team
1971   France Jean-Luc Molineris Sonolor-Lejeune
1972   France Jean-Luc Molineris Sonolor
1973   France Robert Mintkiewicz Sonolor
1974   France Jacques Esclassan Peugeot-BP-Michelin
1975   France Patrick Beon Peugeot-BP-Michelin
1976   France Maurice Le Guilloux Gan-Mercier
1977   Belgium Willy Planckaert Maes-Mini Flat
1978   West Germany Dietrich Thurau IJsboerke-Gios
1979   France Jacques Michaud Flandria–Ça va seul
1980   Belgium Franky De Gendt TI–Raleigh
1981   Netherlands Jan Raas TI–Raleigh
1982   Netherlands Cees Priem TI–Raleigh
1983   Netherlands Bert Oosterbosch TI–Raleigh
1984   Belgium Eddy Planckaert Panasonic
1985   Belgium Guy Nulens Panasonic
1986    Switzerland Niki Rüttimann La Vie Claire
1987   France Ronan Pensec Z-Peugeot
1988   Netherlands Adri Van Der Poel PDM-Concorde
1989   Belgium Etienne De Wilde Histor-Sigma
1990   Netherlands Frans Maassen Buckler
1991   Netherlands Ad Wijnands Team Telekom
1992    Switzerland Beat Zberg Helvetia
1993   France Armand De Las Cuevas Banesto
1994   Netherlands Jean-Paul van Poppel Festina–Lotus
1995   Ukraine Sergei Oetsjakov Polti–Granarolo–Santini
1996   Czech Republic Ján Svorada Panaria-Vinavil
1997   France Patrice Halgand Festina–Lotus
1998   Belgium Jo Planckaert Lotto–Mobistar
1999   France David Lefèvre Casino–Ag2r Prévoyance
2000   Belgium Jo Planckaert Cofidis
2001   Belgium Nico Eeckhout Lotto–Adecco
2002   Australia Robbie McEwen Lotto–Adecco
2003   Italy Fabio Baldato Alessio
2004   France Laurent Brochard AG2R Prévoyance
2005   France Freddy Bichot Française des Jeux
2006   Belgium Frederik Willems Chocolade Jacques
2007   Belgium Nick Nuyens Cofidis
2008   Russia Iouri Trofimov Bouygues Télécom
2009   France Thomas Voeckler Bbox Bouygues Telecom
2010   France Samuel Dumoulin Cofidis
2011   France Anthony Ravard Ag2r–La Mondiale
2012   France Jérôme Coppel Saur–Sojasun
2013   France Jonathan Hivert Sojasun
2014   Sweden Tobias Ludvigsson Giant–Shimano
2015   Luxembourg Bob Jungels Trek Factory Racing
2016   France Jérôme Coppel IAM Cycling
2017   France Lilian Calmejane Direct Énergie
2018   France Tony Gallopin AG2R La Mondiale
2019   France Christophe Laporte Cofidis
2020   France Benoit Cosnefroy AG2R La Mondiale
2021   Belgium Tim Wellens Lotto–Soudal
2022   France Benjamin Thomas Cofidis


  1. ^ "Etoile de Bessèges - Et. 5 : Les réactions". directvelo.com (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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