BMC Racing wins team time trial at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; Sliding in the sand: Sun Tour peloton divided as stage 2 is neutralised; Sarreau wins again on stage 3 of the Etoile de Bessèges; López vying to pay tribute to Scarponi with success in Tour of the Alps; Lobato denies sleeping pill addiction, appeals for contract offers; French amateur given five year suspension for hidden motor use; Teklehaimanot signs for Cofidis; Happy the Eclectus loves his bike; Tour of Britain commentary excerpts and bloopers; Beavis and Butthead do SRAM
BMC wins TTT in Valencia, Sarreau victorious in Bessèges: Daily News Digest
Winner of Wednesday’s opening stage, Marc Sarreau (FDJ) roared back to the top of the podium on Friday when he won stage three of the Etoile de Bessèges. The Frenchman beat compatriots Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie) and Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale) in the bunch sprint into Bessèges.
— la chaine L’ÉQUIPE (@lachainelequipe) February 2, 2018
“I am truly happy,” he said after the stage. “It wasn’t easy today even if the tempo was tranquil. We did great teamwork in the finale. Everything went really well and I am truly happy to win. It is a nice team victory. The aim is to win as many races as possible.”
The 152 kilometre stage started and finished in Bessèges, and included three ascents of the first category Col de Trelis and another unclassified ascent. Six riders went clear early on, namely Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Delko Marseille-Provence KTM), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale), Jonathan Hivert (Direct Energie), Remy di Gregorio (Delko Marseille-Provence KTM) and Gianni Marchand (Cibel-Cebon). They got two and a half minutes, but hard chasing by those behind saw them hauled back with just under 60 kilometres remaining.
Another group established 30 seconds but was reeled in; Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille) then clipped away approximately 35 kilometres from the finish, with Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Dries Van Gestel (Sport Vlaanderen) later bridging to make it three ahead.
They held a gap of 40 seconds inside the last ten kilometres, but the bunch accelerated and, after a desperate chase, finally got them back with 500 metres to go. FDJ had done much of the pursuing but still had enough in the tank to pave the way for Sarreau’s victory and his retaking of the general classification. Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie) is at eight seconds, with overnight leader Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept Club) a further two seconds back.