BENOIT COSNEFROY : “A great achievement”
“The week was very tense but the team was able to handle the situation perfectly. Everything could have been lost in the first stage if the guys hadn’t taken care of me so well in the echelons. It is a great achievement to win the Etoile de Bessèges. I owe a lot to my teammates, and I really want to thank everyone. Last year I won the general classification at the Tour du Limousin, but the stress and the emotion is not the same when everything depends in the end on a time trial like today.
I knew this time trial having raced it two years ago, so I knew what to expect. I stayed focused in my effort. I had confidence in myself and I knew that the climb would be my strong point. The season is off to a good start, and now I will be starting the Tour du Haut Var in two weeks. But my first big goal is in Paris-Nice.”BENOIT COSNEFROY
AURELIEN PARET-PEINTRE : “A beautiful week”
“I was not originally scheduled to be racing the Etoile de Bessèges, so I’m happy to start this way. The past three weeks, I have known that the good feelings are there. This time trial is difficult. I like it that way, and I wanted to defend my place in the general classification. This week, I was able to test myself a little with different types of efforts. I can’t wait to be at the start of the Tour de la Provence where there will be a racing level worthy of a UCI WorldTour event, and great climbs.”AURELIEN PARET-PEINTRE
PIERRE LATOUR : “Feel that the sensations are getting better day by day”
“I am happy to finish the Etoile de Bessèges with this third place at the time trial, but I am especially happy about Benoît’s victory. I came to the race to work for the team, and we really enjoyed it all together. I feel that the sensations are getting better day by day. And I hope this will be confirmed during the Ruta Del Sol (February 19-23).”PIERRE LATOUR
Winner of the Grand Prix de la Marseillaise and the Etoile de Bessèges, the first two events on the French calendar, Benoit Cosnefroy is the first cyclist to achieve this impressive double since Eddy Planckaert in 1984.
Two wins in three years
Benoît Cosnefroy not only notched up his second victory of the season (and the 8th of his career), but winning the overall classification at the Etoile de Bessèges means an AG2R LA MONDIALE rider has taken the victory in Bessèges for the second time in three years.