- - 2014 Etoile de Bessèges Stage 1

2014 Etoile de Bessèges Stage 1

Sander Helven won stage 1 of the 2014 Etoile de Bessèges – beating Laurens De Vreese and Benoît Jarrier in a sprint finnish.

The Belgian rider was part of a six-man breakaway group containing Laurens De Vreese, Benoît Jarrier, Boris Dron, Michael Goolaerts and Marcus Christie – that managed to ride clear in the first 10 kilometers. And, at one point, the group created a significant gap of 8:45 over the peloton.

De Vreese won the first intermediate sprint –  gathering up the maximum number points on the first climb of the day. 

With a 100 kilometers remaining, the leaders were briefly slowed, when Christie suffered a puncture. Meanwhile, La Pomme Marseille and had slowly begun to reduce their lead as both teams chased in earnest. 

During the second climb, the leaders began to breakup under the pace of De Vreese, as well as the peloton behind them as the chase pressed on. 

With 12 kilometers and two laps remaining, the leaders still held a two minute gap over the chase group – ultimately nullifying their chances of reeling them in.

Helven won the sprint finish, while John Degenkolb claimed the bunch sprint for seventh place over Helven’s teammate Tom Van Asbroeck, with Yauheni Hutarovich finishing 22 seconds later.

Top 25  Finishers 

1 Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 3:27:02   2 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert     3 Benoît Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne Séché Environnement     4 Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie – Bruxelles     5 Michael Goolaerts (Bel) Verandas Willems     6 Marcus Christie (Irl) An Post – Chain Reaction 0:00:04   7 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:22   8 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise     9 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R la Mondiale     10 Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise     11 Timothy Dupont (Bel) Roubaix Lille Métropole     12 Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Team La Pomme Marseille 13     13 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty – Groupe Gobert     14 Rudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole     15 Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) Verandas Willems     16 Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wallonie – Bruxelles     17 Tosh Van Der Sande (Ned) Lotto Belisol     18 Erwan Corbel (Fra) Bretagne Séché Environnement     19 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF     20 Kirill Yatsevich (Rus) Itera Katusha     21 Clément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne Séché Environnement     22 Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise     23 Jack Wilson (Irl) An Post – Chain Reaction     24 Romain Feillu (Fra) Bretagne Séché Environnement     25 Julien Duval (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole

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