2010 Etoile de Bessèges news and videos
2010 Etoile de Besseges video highlights below
Stage 5 Sunday: Gagnieres to Besseges, 145 km
Stage 4 Saturday: Ales to Ales, 140.5 km
Stage 3 Friday: Pont Saint Esprit to Bagnols sur Ceze, 148.3 km
Stage 2 Thursday: Nimes to Saint Ambroix 141.3 km
Montpellier (cyclingfans.com) - February 3, 2010: The European road racing season continues today with the start of the 40th edition of the Etoile de Bessèges here in the south of France. Spectators should turn out in good numbers but there is no live television coverage. The situation will be reversed next week at the Tour of Qatar where there will be at least limited live television coverage but not much in the way of spectators. As Bessèges race organizer Roland Fangille observed in today's L'Equipe, "In Qatar, not even a cat will be roadside to watch the race." There will be camels, however, he noted.
And yet as recently as December 20, Fangille wasn't sure there would be an Etoile de Bessèges this year, with one race partner having departed and another having cut its financial support in half. This desperate situation continues to repeat itself at races throughout France, including the Dauphine Libere which now is being taken over by Tour organizer A.S.O. (And of course this is not limited to France. In the U.S., the Tour de Georgia is "on hold" for another year, the future of the Tour of Missouri is again in question, and the Tour of California is moving to May in search of better days.)
For now anyway, the Etoile de Bessèges continues on.
More information and links (including video) as the race progresses. -Pete
Live radio coverage
Live text updates (infrequent)
Stage 3 highlights (05:11)
(Thanks Bernie S. for video research)