Etoile de Besseges - France

Stage One Results | Stage Two Results | Stage Three Results | Stage Four Results | Stage Five Results and Final GC

Nelissen wins first stage but Jan Svorada leads on GC

Just like last year Belgian Wilfried Nelissen won the first stage of the Etoile de Besseges. Nicknamed "the Bulldog", Nelissen took the sprint ahead of Jan Svorada, second also in the GP de Marseillaise, but after counting the time bonuses during the stage Svorada is the first leader of this first stage-race of the season (5 stages). Last year Ukrainian Sergei Outschakov won.

The South of France continued to hurl unseasonably cold weather at the riders in yesterday's first stage of the Etoile de Besseges. Icy rain at the start was succeeded by snow in the middle of the race but an average speed of 44.8kph was achieved on the 140km route from Nimes back to Nimes.

Thierry Marie (Agrigel) was one of the first attackers, provoking a stout reaction from the peloton. A little later Laurent Roux (TVM) tried for a break. But it was on the cote de Poulx that the major development of the day took place when an attacking group of 23 riders was formed including Roux, Luc Leblanc, Pascal Chanteur, Nicolas Jalabert, Yvon Ledanois, David Derique, Laurent Genty, Sebastian Medan, Laurent Pillon, Christophe Mengin, Christophe Bassons, Stephane Conan, Stephane Raveleu, Fabio Baldato, Jan Svorada and Sergei Outschakov.

The rest of the peloton, impelled by Wilfried Nelissens Lotto team, kept the break at under a minute, catching them with less than 50km to go. With the snow getting harder, the peloton powered into Nimes. "That suited me fine," said Nelissen after his sprint victory. "It was necesssary to go fast to forget the cold. At 300m to the line you had to think of nothing at all. It was just a matter of force."

Stage 1 - Nimes-Nimes 142 km

1. Wilfried Nelissen (Belgium, Lotto)  3.13.19
2. Jan Svorada (Slovakia, Panaria-Vinavil) 
3. Johan Capiot (Belgium, Collstrop)
4. Tristan Hoffman (Netherlands, TVM)
5. Steven De Jongh (Netherlands, TVM)
6. Hendrik Redant (Belgium, TVM)
7. Maurizio Tomi (Italy, Aki-Gipiemme)
8. Mario Aerts (Belgium, Vlaanderen 2002)
9. Marc Patry (Belgium, Vlaanderen 2002)
10. Sergio Previtali (Italy, Panaria-Vinavil) all same time

Overall including intermediate time bonuses

 1. Svorada          3.13.8
 2. Nelissen          +1 sec
 3. Capiot            +7
 4. De Jongh          +8
 5. Christophe Capelle (France, ForceSud)  +9
 6. Frederic Moncassin (France, GAN)  +10
 7. Fabrice Blevin (France, La Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne)  same time
 8. Hoffman         +11
 9. Redant       same time
10. Tomi        same time

Two in a row for Nelissen - Stage 2 Report

Wilfried Nelissen made it two in a row when he took the second stage of Etoile de Besseges in another mass sprint with Jan Svorada in second place again. This time he got the time bonuses right and took over the leader's jersey from Svorada.

Stage 2, Le Vigan-Le Vigan 144 km

 1. Wilfried Nelissen (Bel) Lotto               3.32.19
 2. Jan Svorada (Slo) Panaria-Vinavil
 3. Fabio Baldato (Ita) MG Technogym
 4. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) Gan
 5. Tristan Hoffman (Ned) TVM
 6. Alessandro Baronti (Ita) Panaria-Vinavil   at 3 secs
 7. Sergei Outschakov (Ukr) Polti
 8. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) La Mutuelle
 9. Michel Zanoli (Ned) ForceSud
10. Erwan Mentheour (France, Aki-Gipiemme)
11. Nico Eeckhout (Belgium, Collstrop)
12. Wim Feys (Belgium, Vlaanderen 2002)
13. Sebastien Medan (France, Collstrop)
14. Mario Aerts (Belgium, Vlaanderen 2002)
15. Steven De Jongh (Netherlands, TVM)
16. Luca Pavanello (Italy, Aki-Gipiemme)
17. Laurent Pillon (France, Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne)
18. Marc Patry (Belgium, Vlaanderen 2002)
19. R. Meier (Switzerland, PMU Romandie)
20. Bruno Boscardin (Italy, Festina)         all same time

Overall after stage 2:

 1. Wilfried Nelissen (Bel) Lotto               6.45.18
 2. Jan Svorada (Slo) Panaria-Vinavil            + 0.01
 3. Fabio Baldato (Ita) MG Technogym             + 0.16
 4. Johan Capiot (Bel) Collstrop                 + 0.19
 5. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) Gan                   s.t.
 6. Tristan Hoffman (Ned) TVM                    + 0.20
 7. Steven Dejongh (Ned) TVM                       s.t.
 8. Vladimir Belli (Ita) Panaria-Vinavil           s.t.
 9. Christophe Capelle (Fra) ForceSud            + 0.21
10. Jean-Claude Colotti (Fra) Agrigel-La Creuse    s.t.

Stage 2 Report

Wilfried Nelissen may have taken his second successive stage win yesterday with a devastating burst of power -- he launched his sprint 800m out and kept his nose ahead all the way to the line -- but for 110km of the 144km stage a break of five was away.

The escapers - Jean-Claude Colotti (Agrigel), Christophe Bassons (ForceSud), Wladimir Belli (Panaria), Francky Debuyst (Vlaanderen 2002) and Michel Cornelisse (TVM) built a maximum lead of nine minutes before being confounded by heavy winds and yet more snow. Wladimir Belli held off the peloton for a few kilometres of the finishing circuit in the streets of Vigan but soon had the peloton thundering around his ears.

Stage 3 (9 February) GP du Casino des Fumades 148km

 1. Wilfried Nelissen (Belgium, Lotto)  3.42.32 
 2. Frederic Moncassin (France, GAN)
 3. Tristan Hoffman (Netherlands, TVM)
 4. Jan Svorada (Slovakia, Panaria-Vinavil)
 5. Nicolas Jalabert (France, La Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne)
 6. Nico Eeckhout (Belgium, Collstrop)
 7. Fabio Baldato (Italy, MG-Technogym)
 8. Mario Aerts (Belgium, Vlaanderen 2002)
 9. Jan Kirsipuu (Estonia, Casino-"C'est votre equipe")
10. Maurizio Tomi (Italy, Aki-Gipiemme)           all same time      


 1. Nelissen      10.27.39               
 2. Svorada       +7 secs
 3. Moncassin     +23
 4. Hoffman       +27
 5. Baldato      s.t.
 6. Steven De Jongh (Netherlands, TVM)  +28
 7. Johan Capiot (Belgium, Collstrop)   +30
 8. Wladimir Belli (Italy, Panaria)     +31
 9. Nicolas Jalabert              +32
10. Christophe Capelle (France, ForceSud)  s.t.

Nelissen unstoppable in Etoile de Besseges

The 26-year old Belgian Lotto-rider Wilfried Nelissen (who now might have to change his nickname from "the Bulldog" to "le nouveau Cannibale") made it a genuine hat trick by winning the third stage of the Etoile de Besseges on Friday, beating Frederic Moncassin in the mass sprint. He also increased his overall lead with six seconds to second-placed Slovakian Jan Svorada.

Stage 4 (10 February) Grand Prix de Joyeuse, 147km

 1. Jan Svorada (Slovakia, Ceramica Panaria-Vinavil)  3.35.55
 2. Fabia Baldato (Italy, MG-Technogym)
 3. Andrei Tchmil (Russia, Lotto)
 4. Michele Bartoli (Italy MG-Technogym)
 5. Tristan Hoffman (Netherlands, TVM) all same time            
 6. Wladimir Belli (Italy, Ceramica Panaria-Vinavil) +5 secs
 7. Sergei Outschakov (Ukraine, Team Polti)
 8. Gianluca Gorini (Italy, Aki-Gipiemme)  both s.t.
 9. Wilfried Nelissen (Belgium, Lotto)  +12
10. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx (Belgium, Collstrop)  s.t.


 1. Svorada 14.3.31
 2. Nelissen  +15 secs
 3. Baldato   +24
 4. Hoffmann  +30
 5. Tchmil    +33
 6. Frederic Moncassin (France, GAN)  +35
 7. Bartoli   +37
 8. Belli     +38
 9. Steven De Jongh (Netherlands, TVM)  +41
10. Outschakov  +42

Stage 5 Besseges--Besseges 148km, 11 February 1996

 1. Jan Svorada (Slo) Panaria-Vinavil    3.36.12
 2. Wilfried Nelissen (Bel) Lotto
 3. Fabio Baldato (Ita) MG-Technogym
 4. Jan Kirsipuu (Est) Casino
 5. Gianluca Gorini (Ita) Aki-Gipiemme
 6. Luca Pavanello (Ita) Aki-Gipiemme
 7. Maurizio Tomi (Ita) Aki-Gipiemme
 8. Nico Renders (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002
 9. Christophe Capelle (Fra) ForceSud
10. Francois Simon (Fra) Gan             all s.t

Final overall

 1. Jan Svorada (Slo) Panaria-Vinavil   17.29.31
 2. Wilfried Nelissen (Bel) Lotto         + 0.20
 3. Fabio Baldato (Ita) MG-Technogym      + 0.31
 4. Tristan Hoffmann (Ned) TVM            + 0.41
 5. Andrej Tchmil (Rus) Lotto             + 0.44
 6. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) Gan          + 0.46
 7. Michele Bartoli (Ita) MG-Technogym    + 0.37
 8. Wladimir Belli (Ita) Panaria-Vinavil) + 0.38
 9. Steven De Jongh (Ned) TVM             + 0.52
10. Gianluca Gorini (Ita) Aki-Gipiemme    + 0.53

Jan Svorada wins stage 5 and Etoile de Besseges overall

Jan Svorada from Slovakia and riding for the Italian Ceramiche Panaria-Vinaval team is the overall winner of the 26th edition of the Etoile de Besseges stage race. After winning the fourth stage and taking the overall lead from Wilfried Nelissen on Saturday Svorada also took the fifth and final stage on Sunday. Nelissen won three stages and finished second overall.