Welcome to our preview of what’s happening in the world of road cycling in February. After last month’s races in Australia (Tour Down Under), Argentina (Tour de San Luis) and France (GP La Marseillaise), the calendar continues primarily in warmer climes, with the European season still slowly rousing itself from its wintry slumber.
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?