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Bryan Coquard bests Mads Pedersen for Étoile de Bessèges stage 2 win

Mads Pedersen finished second, retains overall race lead.

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Bryan Coquard was victorious on stage 2 of the 2022 Etoile de Bessèges – Tour du Gard, after 156km of racing.

Stage 1 winner Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) chased the Frenchman uphill to the line but came up just short of another win, after opening the final move.

This was Coquard’s first win since 2020.

“It was a hard finish as I could like them before. It was more complicated in recent years,” said Coquard, a nine-time stage-winner at this race.

Pedersen retained the overall race lead.

The four riders who formed the early break were Thomas Denis (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Alexis Gougeard (B&B Hotels-KTM), and Martí Marquez Roman (Equipo Kern Pharma). The quartet managed a four-minute advantage before the pursuit whittled away this margin.

Coquard’s teammate Rémy Rochas attempted to get away on the climb to Côte du Pradel, but he was marked on the following descent by Sebastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ).

With minimal advantage over the chasing group, the leaders were brought back before the final, uphill drag to the line.

Pederson and Coquard were best-positioned for the final acceleration, but it was the French rider who took top honors on the stage.

“I was 50 meters too short. Bryan was very fast, it’s not a disappointment to lose against him,” Pedersen said.

2022 Etoile de Bessèges – Tour du Gard Stage 2 Results

  1. Bryan Coquard (Cofidis), 3:41:46
  2. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), at s.t.
  3. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), at s.t.
  4. Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies), at s.t.
  5. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost), at :04
  6. Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis), at s.t.
  7. Connor Swift (Team Arkéa-Samsic), at s.t.
  8. Milan Menten (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces), at s.t.
  9. Clément Champoussin (AG2R Citroën Team), at s.t.
  10. Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), at s.t.

2022 Etoile de Bessèges – Tour du Gard General Classification

  1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), at 7:14:17
  2. Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies), at :17
  3. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost), at :21