Van Staeyen opens European season with Etoile de Besseges stage win

Belgian takes sprint ahead of Robert, Jules to open racing on the continent for 2013

BEAUCAIRE, France (AFP) — Belgian Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) won the the 152km first stage at Étoile de Bessèges on Wednesday. Van Staeyen took the sprint in Beaucaire ahead of Frédérique Robert (Lotto-Belisol) and Justin Jules (La Pomme Marseille).

Étoile de Bessèges continues Thursday with the 157km second stage from Nîmes to Allègre les Fumades.