It was unfortunate beginning of Etoile de Bessèges for the Polkowice-based team. “The riders in orange” finished outside the Top 50 in stage 1 and lost some time in the general classification.
-At the beginning of the stage a big group broke clear and we were not able to join the escapees. We had to chase them down and not let them established too big advantage. The chase was interrupted by a crash, which split the peleton in few groups. Our riders didn’t suffer any injuries but the crash played a role in the outcome of the stage. Strong wind which was blowing throughout the race didn’t help us either – Robert Krajewski, sporting director said.
The team had to lead the chase without Stefen Schumacher. The German has been sick lately and had to abandon the race.
The advantage of the 28 escapees, who got away at the beginning, leveled out at 2 minutes. It was brought down to little bit over one minute, with 30km to go. This is when the peleton became more active and some riders tried to counterattack.
Eventually it came down to a sprint from 14-man group, which was won by Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal), ahead of Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Marco Coledan (Trek Factory Racing). Davide Rebellin came in 82nd place, 2:04 back. Adrian Honkisz finished the stage with the same time.
Results of stage 1 of Etoile de Bessèges, Bellegarde – Beaucaire, 152km
1. Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal)
2. Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
3. Marco Coledan (Trek Factory Racing)
82. Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 2:04
86. Adrian Honkisz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
146. Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 14:15
149. Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
157. Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
159. Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
164. Mateusz Taciak (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
DNF Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)