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by Mark Zalewski
February 2, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kittel doubles up at Dubai Tour; Danny van Poppel claims prologue victory at the 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour; BMC wins Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana TTT; Démare wins Etoile de Bessèges opener; Vos, van der Poel follow-up Worlds disappointments with wins; Contract secured: Nathan Earle in career-best form and ready to get back on the winners’ list; 30 feet above a very different finish line: Masters racer recounts life-saving recovery after harrowing crash on bridge; Renowned cycling photographer Graham Watson retires; Advocacy group calls 10 day sentence for drunk driver who killed cyclist ‘unacceptable’; Colorado legislature considering adopting ‘Idaho Stop’ law; Video: Highlights from the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Races; Backstage Pass: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
Arnaud Démare (FDJ) won the field sprint of the first stage of the Etoile de Bessèges, 158.4 kilometre stage between Bellegarde and Beaucaire. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and Roy Jans (WB-Veranclassic-Aquality Protect) took the other podium spots.
“With us everyone knows what to do and I love seeing them motivated,” said Démare of his lead-out train.
“As expected, Ignatas and Olivier were the first to be put into action. They rode hard behind the breakaway and up to three kilometres [to go]. Cimolaï took over and then Mika Delage who is a perfect captain of the train. Marc Sarreau passed the [baton] to Jacopo Guarnieri. He has great experience and could keep the pace and not panic when the sprint was launched by his old team Katusha.
The day had a main break of four but Katusha-Alpecin and Lotto-Soudal did a lot of work to bring it back for Kristoff and Jasper de Buyst, respectively.
“It all happened ideally, it was not possible to start the season better,” said Démare.