Belgian Tim Wellens won the Etoile de Besseges cycling race after Filippo Ganna took Sunday’s closing time trial, ending a five-year French stranglehold on the event. Wellens, who rides for the Lotto-Soudal team, topped the closing overall standings by 53 seconds from Ineos’ Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski.

Time-trial world champion Ganna, also with Ineos, took the 10.7 kilometer fifth stage honors around the streets of Ales in the Gard region in a time of 15:00.

“I was confident before the time trial and had good feelings. But you can never be sure of anything,” said 29-year-old Wellens who was fourth on the stage.

“It felt nice to start this closing time trial with a lead of more than 40 seconds. I had really good legs today, something I already noticed this morning.

“But most of all, I was really motivated to give Vic Swerts (founder and owner of Soudal) a nice gift for his 81st birthday.”

Ganna, who had also won Saturday’s stage on a breakaway, finished the time-trial with a 10-second advantage over Benjamin Thomas (Groupama-FDJ).

Etoile de Besseges 2021 – Michal Kwiatkowski (POL – Ineos Grenadiers) – Tim Wellens (BEL – Lotto Soudal) – Jordi Meeus (BEL – Bora – Hansgrohe)


1  GANNA Filippo INEOS Grenadiers 15:00
2  THOMAS Benjamin Groupama – FDJ 0:10
3  HAYTER Ethan INEOS Grenadiers 0:21
4  WELLENS Tim Lotto Soudal 0:29
5  LAPORTE Christophe Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 0:31
6  KWIATKOWSKI Michał INEOS Grenadiers 0:34
7  BETTIOL Alberto EF Education – Nippo 0:35
8  DOULL Owain INEOS Grenadiers 0:38
9  POLITT Nils BORA – hansgrohe ,,
10  STEWART Jake Groupama – FDJ 0:41



1  WELLENS Tim Lotto Soudal 13:56:23
2  KWIATKOWSKI Michał INEOS Grenadiers 0:53
3  POLITT Nils BORA – hansgrohe 0:59
4  STEWART Jake Groupama – FDJ 1:02
5  WÜRTZ SCHMIDT Mads Israel Start-Up Nation 1:19
6  GOGL Michael Team Qhubeka ASSOS 1:24
7  VAN AVERMAET Greg AG2R Citroën Team 1:25
8  THEUNS Edward Trek – Segafredo 1:36
9  CARISEY Clément DELKO 1:41
10  EIKING Odd Christian Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux 1:45


RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini

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