Updated on 2021-02-04 09:51:02
Christophe Laporte, the Var puncher from the Cofidis team, took the first stage of the Etoile de Bessèges after a particularly thrilling final.
He won by countering Nacer Bouhanni of the Arkea Samsic team. Nacer Bouhanni played the surprise card by attacking halfway through the last bump.
Christophe Laporte was the only one to take his wheel to pass it before the line. Injured at the start of last season, Christophe Laporte shows in spectacular fashion that he is back to his best.
In a race he won two years ago, he will do anything to keep the leader's jersey. Both riders wore an Ekoï AR14 helmet and Ekoï Premium 80 glasses. Christophe LAPORTE "I'm super happy, it's just happiness! 2020 has not been an easy year.
All winter I was very motivated, I didn't have any problems and I knew my shape was good.
I knew that to perform, I had to be well placed at the top of thebump. I expected someone to attack and I would have to manage my effort and get under the pedal.
I did it and I'm also happy to have grabbed a few bonus seconds for the overall.
Tomorrow is a sprint that I have already won but the field is higher. We will also try to take bonuses in view of Sunday's stopwatch.
I am very proud to have started the season well for the team and to give confidence to my teammates and all the staff. We will do everything to continue our momentum! "
Nacer BOUHANNI "I recognized the final of this first stage yesterday.
I knew the climb up the Route de la Tour was more conducive to punchers than sprinters.
I wanted to test myself nonetheless. I tried in the finale for this reason.
I came to this 2021 edition of the Etoile de Bessèges to target the sprint stages.
There was a lot of movement at the foot of the final hump. I throw as soon as the opening is in front of me, which is halfway down the hump.
I wanted to achieve a big finish, to make a difference. It was a big lactic effort on the hardest part of the slope.
I know when I'm in good shape - because I'm of a light build - I can express myself on this type of finish. There will be other opportunities in this race.
It was my back-to-school competition for 2021. I am reassured about my state of form but also about the opportunities that should present themselves for the sprinters on this 2021 edition of the Etoile de Bessèges.
I also want to thank my teammates for the superb job they did throughout the race on my behalf. "