02 February 2024

Étoile de Bessèges - T.Guernalec at the front, K.Vauquelin on the offensive in the finale

The Bessèges-Bessèges stage was a lively one with Thibaut Guernalec in the day’s breakaway, while Kévin Vauquelin tried his hand at the kilometre-long finish. Summary of stage 3.


Photo GettyImages

Kévin Vauquelin

On the line

“This 3rd stage of Bessèges, like the previous day’s, was ridden at high speed. You can feel that the level of the peloton is very even. I saw an opening in front of me at the start of the last kilometre, so I said to myself ‘you never know with a headwind, I’m going to take a gamble’. I don’t regret it – sometimes you just have to go on the offensive. I’m still placed in the general classification ahead of a great stage tomorrow, and above all with a view to the final individual time trial in Ales”.

Thibault Guernalec

“The aim was for the ARKEA-B&B HOTELS team to be represented at the front along with other teams that could prove dangerous for the overall classification. That was the case with Décathlon-AG2R and EF Education First. The idea, by slipping into this breakaway, was to get a head start in the final in case of big moves by the leaders. The race didn’t settle down as we’d hoped, but I was nevertheless able to give the team a big helping hand going into the last three kilometres before heading back to Bessèges. The team didn’t have to ride to catch the breakaway riders. There were several reasons for being at the front, and above all, it’s always good to be in the lead”.

Yvon Ledanois, Sport-Director

The debrief

“The stage was very fast, with a very dangerous breakaway made up of some quality riders. As we saw, the gap quickly grew to five minutes, and the teams not represented at the front were forced to ride. We had Thibault Guernalec in this breakaway, who was supposed to act as a relay for Kévin just in case. But things went so fast that everyone was on the break. In the end, we lost a bit of time today compared to Mads Pedersen, but we’re still in the match. Tomorrow we’ve got a great stage ahead of us, which we’ll have to negotiate as well as possible, both collectively and individually”.