On Wednesday Timothy Dupont crashed in the opening stage of Étoile de Bessèges (2.1, 31/01-04/02), but on Thursday he was able to gain a podium place in his first bunch sprint of the new season.
Six riders got a free pass from the peloton. In the final laps around Générac the gap went down fast. At 3 kilometers from the finish, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck closed the gap with the leaders together with Sean De Bie. However, under la flamme rouge they were seized by the peloton.
Fresh Belgian champion beachrace Timothy Dupont was positioned well and sprinted to third place in Générac behind Laporte and Coquard. A second podium for Wanty-Groupe Gobert in only three race days, after the second place of Odd Christian Eiking in GP La Marseillaise on Sunday.
Also today team WGG was unfortunately not spared from bad luck. After a crash from Vanspeybrouck, Van Keirsbulck and Dupont on Wednesday, Yoann Offredo crashed in the second stage. Our Parisian ran a bruise and extensive abrasion wound on the hip. Normally he can take the start of the third stage.
"Fortunately the damage from the crash wasn't too bad for me, although I had some problems with my back. It was a fast and nervous stage today. The peloton had to hunt firmly on the six attackers. "
"In the final, Sean de Bie accelerated with teammate Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, which was ideal for us. First I was in the wheel of the riders of Veranclassic. But they were in front too early. Then Vital Concept took over and Wesley Kreder could put me perfectly in Coquard's wheel. "
"Amaury Capiot came between Coquard and me just before the sprint, so I first had to pass him and could almost equal Coquard. I stayed there and winner Laporte passed on the inside."
"This third place shows that I am in good shape. Tomorrow will be a fairly difficult stage. We will see how we survive that day. On Saturday there will certainly be another chance of a bunch sprint, where I want to strike."
Results stage 2 (Nimes › Générac)
1. Christophe Laporte
2. Bryan Coquard
3. Timothy Dupont
GC after stage 2
1. Christopghe Laporte
2. Bryan Coquard
3. Marc Sarreau
6. Timothy Dupont + 00:06