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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

 UCI codes explained

34th Etoile des Bessèges - 2.3

France, February 4-8, 2004

2003 results     Stage List     Preview    Start List     Past winners

The Stages

  • Stage 1 - February 4: GP de Marseille, Marseille circuit, 139 km
  • Stage 2 - February 5: Grand prix de Palavas-les-Flots, Palavas circuit, 149 km
  • Stage 3 - February 6: Nîmes - Les Fumades, 160 km
  • Stage 4 - February 7: GP du pays Grand Combien, Branoux-les-Taillades - Les-Salles-du-Gardon, 150 km
  • Stage 5 - February 8: GP de Bessèges, Gagnières - Bessèges, 148 km

French season opens with La Marseillaise

February 3 sees the European season gather momentum as the French cycling calendar opens with the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise, a 150 kilometre excursion between Gardanne and Aubagne. Although a stand-alone race, the GP d'Ouverture is followed immediately by the five day stage race, Etoile des Bessèges, and most riders choose to do both.

Last year's Ouverture winner Ludo Dierckxsens (Landbouwkrediet) will be on the start line, hoping for a similarly good result and a better 2004 season than he had last year. Etoile des Bessèges winner Fabio Baldato (Alessio-Bianchi), Joseba Beloki (La Boulangère) and Laurent Brochard (Ag2r). Other riders to watch include Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis), Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r), Didier Rous (La Boulangère) and Cyclingnews diarist Scott Sunderland, who will be making his debut with the Alessio-Bianchi team.

Start list

Brioches La Boulangère
RAGT Semences-MG Rover
Chocolade Jacques
Auber 93
Crédit Agricole

Past winners

2003 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Alessio
2002 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco
2001 Nico Eeckhout (Bel)
2000 Jo Planckaert (Bel)
1999 Daniel Lefevre (Fra)
1998 Jo Planckaert (Bel)
1997 Patrice Halgand (Fra)
1996 Jan Svorada (Cze)
1995 Sergej Outschakov (Ukr)
1994 Jean-Paul Van Poppel (Ned)
1993 Armand De las Cuevas (Fra)
1992 Beat Zberg (Swi)
1991 Jan Wijnands (Ned)
1990 Frans Maassen (Ned)
1989 Etienne De Wilde (Bel)
1988 Adri Van der Poel (Ned)
1987 Ronan Pensec (Fra)
1986 Niki Ruttimann (Swi)
1985 Guy Nulens (Bel)
1984 Eddy Planckaert (Bel)
1983 Bert Oosterbosch (Ned)
1982 Cees Priem (Ned)
1981 Jan Raas (Ned)
1980 Franky De Gent (Bel)
1979 Jacques Michaud (Fra)
1978 Dietrich Thurau (Ger)
1977 Willy Planckaert (Bel)
1976 Maurice Le Guilloux (Fra)
1975 Patrick Beon (Fra)
1974 Jacques Esclassan (Fra)
1973 Robert Mintkiewicz (Fra)
1972 Jean-Luc Molineris (Fra)
1971 Jean-Luc Molineris (Fra)

Past winners by Mario Stiehl,