January 31 - February 4, Bellegarde , France, Road - 2.1

Once the major season opener for the French riders, Etoile de Bessèges' stature may have declined somewhat since the advent of the WorldTour, but it is still an important early-season test.

Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) used the race last year to set his intentions for the season, and went on to win a stage of the Tour de France. Bob Jungels and Belgian Nick Nuyens stand out as foreign winners amidst a palmares stacked with French names.

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