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Cycling/Road – Tim Wellens, the new star of Bessèges

After 5 eventful stages, Tim Wellens won the “Étoile de Bessèges” 2021. Filippo Ganna won the last two stages for Ineos Grenadiers.

For this first stage race in 2021, it was Christophe Laporte who took the lead. Indeed, the Cofidis rider won the first stage in a sprint ahead of Nacer Bouhanni. He kept his leader jersey until the 3rd stage. This third, slightly hilly, stage was the perfect playground for Tim Wellens who won the stage after a long breakaway.

In order to win the stage and the leader Jersey, he has distanced one by one all his teammates. Wellens took a 37-second advantage on the rest of the favourites, among them Kwiatkowski and Van Avermaet. The next day, Filippo Ganna won the 4th stage alone, which was also hilly. He distances the rest of the group, flying away to the victory. Not very dangerous in the overall classification, the Lotto-Soudal of Wellens let him go towards his first victory in the race.

Tim Wellens, flying to the stars

At the approach of the last time trial, Tim Wellens has more than 45 seconds advantage on his chasers and nearly 3 minutes on Ganna. Except for a mechanical problem, he should be able to take the victory. And that is indeed what happened! No technical problems for the Belgian rider who even takes 4th place in the time trial. It is the world champion Filippo Ganna who wins his second stage ahead of Benjamin Thomas (Groupama FDJ) and Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers).

For his first participation at the “Étoile de Bessèges”, Tim Wellens wins the overall classification. He is ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski (+53 sec) and Nils Politt (+59 sec). Kwiatkowski will try his luck again next week on the Tour de Provence where Julian Alaphilippe, the world champion, should make his comeback.

Léo Godefroy

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