Hard stage 3 in Etoile de Bessèges
The third stage of the Etoile de Bessèges was won by Jerome Cousin (Team Europcar) ahead of Anthony Roux (FDJ). Cousin won the sprint from the breakaway in the streets of Bessèges. Thomas Damuseau was the first Team Argos-Shimano rider, in 15th place.
A breakaway of eight riders escaped from the peloton early in the stage. Georg Preidler represented Team Argos-Shimano. The breakaway, composed primarily of French riders, never built up a substantial gap, though, and 40 kilometers from the finish five more riders bridged across. In the end the pace was too high for Preidler, and he was forced to let the breakaway go. The riders in the break sprinted for the victory after a stage of 152.6 km.
“It was a difficult stage today, and we are not happy with the outcome. When the five guys bridged up to the breakaway, there was no one from Team Argos-Shimano. Warren and Francois tried to follow but couldn’t keep up with the other five. The communication wasn’t good today, so we have learned some lessons. Right now we have 15 guys in front of us in the general classification. We have to make a new plan for tomorrow. It will be a tricky stage with a lot of wind and small roads,” said sports director Cees-Jan van der Zweep.
Results stage 3
1. Jérôme Cousin (Team Europcar)
2. Anthony Roux (FDJ)
3. Arthur Vichot (FDJ)
4. Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
5. Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM)