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Thomas Voeckler claims the overall victory at Besseges

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler of Bouygues Telecom claimed overall victory in the Etoile de Besseges stage race, formerly the traditional season-opener, here Sunday. Voeckler, who famously battled the advances of Lance Armstrong to keep hold of the Tour de France yellow jersey in 2004, finished comfortably ahead of Slovenian Jure Kocjan and Russian Yuri Trofimov, last year's winner, in the general classification. Another Frenchman, Jean-Eudes Demaret of Cofidis, won the fifth and final stage after 145 km of racing between Gagnieres and Besseges. [nid:87402]

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2009 Etoile de Besseges, stage 5: Cofidis' Jean-Eudes Demaret won the final stage.

2009 Etoile de Besseges, stage 5: Cofidis’ Jean-Eudes Demaret won the final stage.

Photo: Agence France Presse

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler of Bouygues Telecom claimed overall victory in the Etoile de Besseges stage race, formerly the traditional season-opener, here Sunday.

Voeckler, who famously battled the advances of Lance Armstrong to keep hold of the Tour de France yellow jersey in 2004, finished comfortably ahead of Slovenian Jure Kocjan and Russian Yuri Trofimov, last year’s winner, in the general classification.

Another Frenchman, Jean-Eudes Demaret of Cofidis, won the fifth and final stage after 145 km of racing between Gagnieres and Besseges.

2009 Etoile de Besseges, stage 5: Voeckler wrapped up the overall on Sunday.

2009 Etoile de Besseges, stage 5: Voeckler wrapped up the overall on Sunday.

Photo: Agence France Presse

An eight-man breakaway formed after just 10km but none of those proved a threat to Voeckler’s overall lead.

They were allowed a maximum lead of nearly five minutes and despite going on to dispute the finale their advantage was kept constantly in check by the peloton.

In the finale Demaret, who was part of the initial breakaway, beat home Jimmy Engoulvent and former Paris-Roubaix champion Frederic Guesdon.

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Results

Stage 5 results:

1. Jean-Eudes Demaret (Cofidis) in 3:20:12 (Average 43.457 kph)

2. Jimmy Engoulvent (Besson Chaussures-Sojasun)

3. Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux)

4. Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel)

5. Lilian Jégou (Bretagne-Schuller)

6. Jef Peeters (An Post–Sean Kelly Team)

7. Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil)

8. Piet Rooijakkers (Skil-Shimano)

9. Matthieu Ladagnous (Française des Jeux) at 1:12

10. Mickaël Delage (Silence-Lotto)

Final GC:

1 Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) in 14:32:55 (Average: 43.09 kph)
2 Jure Kocjan (Carmiooro-A-Style) at 1:07’’
3 Yuri Trofimov (Bouygues Telecom) at 1’08”
4 Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) at 1’20”
5 Sébastien Minard (Cofidis) at 1’32”
6 Jonathan Hivert (Skil-Shimano) st
7 Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) at 1’34”
8 Damien Monier (Cofidis) at 1’35”
9 Matthieu Ladagnous (Française des Jeux) st
10 Pierrick Fédrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) st
11 Jimmy Casper (Besson Chaussures-Sojasun) at 2’26”
12 Stéphane Goubert (AG2R-La Mondiale) at 3’17”
13 Albert Timmer (Skil Shimano) at 4’09”
14 Florian Vachon (Roubaix-Lille Métropole) at 4’21”
15 Julien Simon (Besson Chaussures-Sojasun) at 4’31”
16 Jean-Eudes Demaret (Cofidis) at 5’58”
17 Sylvain Calzati (Agritubel) at 6’33”
18 Christophe Lauren (Agritubel) at 6’52”
19 Hubert Dupont (AG2R-La Mondiale) st
20 Jens Mouris (Vacansoleilà at 7’01”