The Tour de France has packed up for another year but, as always, its conclusion marks the beginning of cycling’s transfer tussles and contract clashes. With the rumour mill grinding, this regular column will try to sort the wheat from the chaff and work out who’ll be where next year.
The European season one-day opener, GP La Marseillaise, is quickly followed by the stage race L’Etoile de Besseges which, as its name suggests, is raced around the area of Besseges, a former mining town in the Gard department, part of the Languedoc Roussillon region. It too is supported by the La Marseillaise newspaper.
The 42nd edition of the five-day stage race starts tomorrow (Wednesday) and continues until Sunday. This year it features a split stage on the final day – a short road stage in the morning followed by an uphill time trial in the afternoon. Hoping to make it a bit more of a challenge for the sprinters, perhaps?