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.
|Region||Gard department, |
|English name||Star of Bessèges|
|Local name(s)||Étoile de Bessèges (in French)|
|Competition||UCI Europe Tour|
|Editions||52 (as of 2022)|
|First winner||Jean-Luc Molineris (FRA)|
|Most wins|| Jean-Luc Molineris (FRA)|
Jo Planckaert (BEL)
Jérôme Coppel (FRA)
|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. 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.
- "Etoile de Bessèges - Et. 5 : Les réactions". directvelo.com (in French). Retrieved 22 February 2016.
- "News shorts: New French stage race planned for February". Cycling News. Retrieved 22 February 2016.