Coppel claims time trial, overall victory in Etoile de Besseges

Vermeulen a surprise second overall

Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) snatched overall victory on the final afternoon of the Étoile de Bessèges thanks to a dominant performance in the race’s concluding time trial. The 25-year-old mastered the testing 9.7km course to finish 26 seconds clear of Rein Taaramae (Cofidis), divesting rival French talent Pierre Rolland (Europcar) of the leader’s jersey in the process.

“At the start, I was thinking of winning the time trial above all,” Coppel said afterwards, admitting that he did not expect to make up his 20-second deficit on Rolland. “Pierre Rolland had quite a lead, so it would have needed a really good time to win the GC.”

That Coppel ultimately delivered that performance was due at least in part to his reconnaissance of the course, which featured a tough 3km climb to the line at the finish. “I reconnoitered the TT course in the car on Thursday and again this afternoon between the two stages,” he said. “The riders on the team who rode the GP de la Marseillaise had also reconnoitered it by bike, and they advised me on what gear to use.”

Coppel was hugely impressive over the entirety of the short course, showcasing his twin talents as a rouleur and climber. He cut a confident figure as he clocked the quickest time on the flat opening section of the time trial, but truly came into his own on the final three kilometres, which saw the riders climb to l’Ermitage.

Powering up the 16% slopes of the climb, Coppel stopped the clock in 14:25, and then sat back and watched as a succession of riders, including Taaramae, failed to better his mark.

Rolland was the last man off, and though led by just 6 seconds coming into the final afternoon, he still had a 20-second advantage over Coppel. Though by no means a specialist against the watch, Rolland must surely have fancied his chances of overall victory given the sting in the time trial’s tail.

Instead, however, Rolland struggled to find his rhythm, and by the time he began to haul himself up to l’Ermitage, it was clear that the Étoile de Bessèges was slipping way from him. He ultimately coughed up 47 seconds to finish 10th on the day, and slip to fourth place overall.

Taaramae’s solid outing saw him move up to third place, while the surprising Franck Vermeulen (Veranda Rideau U) put in a fine display to defend his second place overall. The 35-year-old finished fourth in the time trial, ahead of Pierrick Fédrigo (FDJ-BigMat).

The day belonged to Jérôme Coppel, however, who enjoyed a fine Tour de France last July, even if his achievement was overshadowed by the man he beat on Sunday. “Last year, I was 14th in the Tour de France and it didn’t get a lot of attention even if some other years, I would have been the first Frenchman,” he pointed out.

Étoile de Bessèges safely added to his palmares, Coppel’s attentions now turn to the most prestigious French stage race of the spring. “I’ve seen that my winter work has paid off,” he said. “I won’t turn down victory at Étoile de Bessèges but my objective for the early part of the season is Paris-Nice.”

Full results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jérôme Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:14:25 
2Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne0:00:26 
3Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:32 
4Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling0:00:33 
5Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ - Big Mat0:00:38 
6Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:00:39 
7Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:00:40 
8Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:43 
9Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille0:00:47 
10Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:48 
11Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:00:49 
12Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:51 
13Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:53 
14David Lelay (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:00:53 
15Rémi Cusin (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:53 
16Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar0:00:54 
17Rémi Di Gregorio (Fra) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne0:00:57 
18Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:57 
19Julien El Fares (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:58 
20Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling0:00:59 
21Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:01:00 
22Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet0:01:00 
23Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:03 
24Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar0:01:05 
25Yannick Martinez (Fra) Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille0:01:05 
26Leif Hoste (Bel) Accent.Jobs - Willems Verandas0:01:06 
27Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:06 
28Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:07 
29Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly0:01:09 
30Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:10 
31Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet0:01:11 
32Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling0:01:14 
33Dimitri Le Bouch (Fra) Auber 930:01:16 
34Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:17 
35Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:19 
36Gaël Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:01:20 
37Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:20 
38Mark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly0:01:21 
39Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:27 
40Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:01:32 
41Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ - Big Mat0:01:33 
42Justin Jules (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:01:33 
43Simon Geschke (Ger) Project 1t4i0:01:33 
44Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Project 1t4i0:01:37 
45Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Accent.Jobs - Willems Verandas0:01:37 
46Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly0:01:40 
47Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne0:01:41 
48Rob Goris (Bel) Accent.Jobs - Willems Verandas0:01:42 
49Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ - Big Mat0:01:44 
50Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:44 
51Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:47 
52Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:51 
53Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:01:58 
54Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent.Jobs - Willems Verandas0:02:03 
55Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:02:06 
56Romain Matheou (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:02:09 
57Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:02:13 
58Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:02:15 
59Gaylord Cumont (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:02:19 
60Mickaël Olejnik (Pol) Veranda Rideau U0:02:19 
61Bert De Backer (Bel) Project 1t4i0:02:22 
62Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling0:02:22 
63Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:02:23 
64Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:02:23 
65Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille0:02:29 
66Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:02:29 
67Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne0:02:37 
68Maxime Le Montagner (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:02:46 
69Ronan Racault (Fra) Auber 930:02:47 
70Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:02:51 
71Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:02:57 
72Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 930:03:05 
73Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:03:14 
74Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:03:21 
75Loïc Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:03:54 
76Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:11 
DNSCédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ - Big Mat  
DNSSteven Tronet (Fra) Auber 93  
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Saur - Sojasun0:44:43 
2Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:01:14 
3AG2R la Mondiale0:01:15 
4Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:17 
5Team Europcar0:01:18 
6Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne0:01:34 
7Landbouwkrediet  
8Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:01:42 
9FDJ - Big Mat0:02:24 
10An Post - Sean Kelly0:02:40 
11La Pomme Marseille0:02:51 
12Veranda Rideau U  
13Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda`s0:02:56 
14Project 1t4i0:04:02 
15Bretagne - Schuller0:04:04 
16Auber 930:05:38 
Final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jérôme Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun12:40:08 
2Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:00:25 
3Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne0:00:26 
4Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:28 
5Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:32 
6Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling0:00:33 
7Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ - Big Mat0:00:37 
8Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
9Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille0:00:46 
10Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:48 
11Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:00:49 
12Rémi Cusin (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:51 
13Julien El Fares (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:54 
14Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar  
15Rémi Di Gregorio (Fra) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne0:00:56 
16Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet0:00:57 
17Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
18Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:59 
19Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
20Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling0:01:01 
21Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:02 
22Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
23Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar0:01:04 
24Yannick Martinez (Fra) Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille0:01:05 
25Leif Hoste (Bel) Accent.Jobs - Willems Verandas  
26Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:07 
27Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly0:01:09 
28Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
29Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:15 
30Dimitri Le Bouch (Fra) Auber 93  
31Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:16 
32Gaël Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:01:20 
33Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
34Mark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly  
35Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:27 
36Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ - Big Mat0:01:32 
37Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:33 
38Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Project 1t4i0:01:36 
39Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Accent.Jobs - Willems Verandas0:01:37 
40Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne0:01:40 
41Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
42Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:41 
43Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ - Big Mat0:01:43 
44Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:45 
45Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:01:58 
46Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent.Jobs - Willems Verandas0:02:02 
47Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:02:05 
48Romain Matheou (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:02:08 
49Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling0:02:22 
50Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:02:23 
51Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:02:47 
52Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:02:56 
53Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:03:20 
54David Lelay (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:03:55 
55Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling0:03:56 
56Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:04:53 
57Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:05:15 
58Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:05:17 
59Gaylord Cumont (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:06:34 
60Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:06:47 
61Simon Geschke (Ger) Project 1t4i0:06:51 
62Ronan Racault (Fra) Auber 930:08:06 
63Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:08:47 
64Loïc Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:09:34 
65Mickaël Olejnik (Pol) Veranda Rideau U0:10:10 
66Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar0:11:14 
67Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:14:22 
68Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly0:17:15 
69Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne0:18:33 
70Rob Goris (Bel) Accent.Jobs - Willems Verandas0:20:27 
71Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 930:24:07 
72Justin Jules (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:25:00 
73Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:25:01 
74Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille0:29:35 
75Maxime Le Montagner (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:33:21 
76Bert De Backer (Bel) Project 1t4i0:34:03 
Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet54 pts
2Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling49 
3Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling39 
4Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun39 
5Justin Jules (Fra) Veranda Rideau U36 
6Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale32 
7Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar31 
8Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne28 
9Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator27 
10Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Veranda Rideau U22 
11Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly20 
12Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun19 
13Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar17 
14Julien El Fares (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi16 
15Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet15 
16Jérôme Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun14 
17Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi14 
18Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller14 
19Yannick Martinez (Fra) Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille12 
20Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller12 
21Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet11 
22Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator11 
23Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator9 
24Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1 - Sanofi8 
25Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly8 
26Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller8 
27Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ - Big Mat7 
28Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi6 
29Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille6 
30Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar6 
31Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur - Sojasun4 
32Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator4 
33Rémi Cusin (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi4 
34Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet4 
35Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Project 1t4i3 
36Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun2 
37Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar2 
38Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller1 
Mountains classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling12 pts
2Rémi Cusin (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi10 
3Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1 - Sanofi10 
4Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet10 
5Julien El Fares (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi8 
6Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale8 
7Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur - Sojasun6 
8Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Veranda Rideau U6 
9Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun6 
10Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar4 
11Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet4 
12David Lelay (Fra) Saur - Sojasun4 
13Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller4 
14Mickaël Olejnik (Pol) Veranda Rideau U4 
15Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne2 
Young rider classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun12:40:57 
2Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:08 
3Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:00:10 
4Dimitri Le Bouch (Fra) Auber 930:00:26 
5Mark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly0:00:31 
6Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling0:01:33 
7Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:04:28 
8Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:05:58 
9Loïc Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:08:45 
10Thomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Vélo Club La Pomme Marseille0:28:46 
11Maxime Le Montagner (Fra) Veranda Rideau U0:32:32 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Saur - Sojasun38:01:52 
2Team Europcar0:01:11 
3Team Type 1 - Sanofi0:01:14 
4AG2R la Mondiale0:01:15 
5Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:17 
6Landbouwkrediet0:01:34 
7Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne  
8FDJ - Big Mat0:02:24 
9An Post - Sean Kelly0:02:40 
10Veranda Rideau U0:02:44 
11Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda`s0:02:56 
12La Pomme Marseille0:03:12 
13Bretagne - Schuller0:04:04 
14Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:10:01 
15Auber 930:16:18 
16Project 1t4i0:17:28 

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